Apr 13, 2017

White Rock municipal workers to host forum on value of public community services

WHITE ROCK – Municipal workers in White Rock are taking action and have organized a community forum to discuss the future of solid waste services (garbage, recycling and green waste) as the City seriously considers privatizing this community service.

“There is often a misconception that private, for profit contractors can provide municipal services at a lower cost and improve efficiencies,” says CUPE 402-01 President Mike Guraliuk. “But that is not always the case – in fact reputable studies have actually shown that solid waste services delivered by municipal employees are comparable in cost and efficiency to privately contracted services.”

Guraliuk says the forum is intended to offer residents and councillors additional information about the benefits of publicly delivered community services and on municipal financing.

Gaetan Royer, former City Manager in Port Moody and co-author of Columbia Institute's Centre for Civic Governance's report Back in House: Why local governments are bringing services home, is one of three panelists that will present at the forum.

Back in House: Why local governments are bringing services home looks at 15 case studies where services were brought back in house. Of those, 80 percent were insourced because, amongst other reasons, the cost was lower. According to Royer experience with out-of-house service delivery in Canada is showing that contracting out can be more costly, impact quality of service, remove services from community control, and reduce flexibility to meet changing governance needs.

Other panelists include Keith Reynolds, a policy analyst who has worked at all three levels of government, for two public sector unions and as a private consultant, and Jordana Feist, a CUPE National Research Representative. 

Reynolds will share case studies from other communities and discuss how communities benefit from public services, and Feist will discuss municipal financing and how municipalities can purchase infrastructure and equipment affordably.

CUPE BC President Paul Faoro will also deliver opening remarks at the forum.

Trash Talk is taking place Wednesday April 19 at the White Rock Civic Centre and more information on the forum can be found at:

Full event details here

COPE 491