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Hundreds of people from all walks of life crammed into a Windsor meeting hall April 6 to make their voices heard in support of a ‘new direction’ for their community.

The town hall event, co-sponsored by CUPE, the Council of Canadians, and the Windsor and District Labour Council, encouraged local residents to seek out a new direction that builds and unites the community, as opposed to tearing it down and dividing it.

“A new industrial strategy for Windsor – one built by the city, the province, by business, and by labour would be a far better pursuit and use of our time than the current divisions in the community of Windsor,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.

In addition to Moist, other presenters included CUPE chief economist Toby Sanger, WDLC President Dino Chiodo, retired City of Windsor chief administrative officer Hilary Payne - and several people whose lives have recently been affected by recent decisions to contract out or close down municipal services such as child care and garbage collection, who spoke of their pride in their community and the work that they do.

What’s the incentive for someone who isn’t a city employee to be an ambassador for the city? Where’s the pride in that?” asked Lisa Sajatovich, a lifelong Windsor resident who has worked as a provincial offences officer for 24 years. Recently, Windsor City Council voted to put their profitable parking enforcement division out for tender bids.

All of us want Windsor to grow and prosper, and this can only happen if Windsor works together,” added Moist.

Residents who attended the meeting were encouraged to contact their city councillors or the city’s 311 information service to express their support for keeping public services in public hands.

A second town hall meeting is currently being planned.