AJAX, ON, Aug. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Between 6,000-7,000 people came out in
Ajax to hear rock band April Wine at a free concert tonight presented by the
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). Called 'Rock for Public Services',
the event was one of a series of rock concerts that CUPE Ontario has planned
in cities across the province to celebrate and bring home the importance of
"This is our way of thanking people in Durham Region for their ongoing
support and dedication to preserving public services that are the bedrock of
strong communities," said CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan. The evening also
featured local band The Side Project as the opening act.
Speaking at the event, Ryan told the crowd, "You know, just like a good
rock band, CUPE is there for you from the moment you're born till the day you
die, delivering public services. CUPE workers are there when you have your
first-born at the hospital to when your parents go into a nursing home. It is
CUPE workers providing public services like hydro and water and snow plowing,
at your schools, libraries and community centres as well as the paramedics who
provide life-saving services."
According to CUPE Ontario, the provincial government and local
municipalities mistakenly believe that contracting out and privatizing
services is going to save them money. In the long term, privatization costs
taxpayers more and delivers less.
"When work is contracted out to the lowest bidder, this hurts your
community," said Ryan to a big round of applause. "People cannot afford to
live on $10 to $12 an hour. They cannot purchase goods and services from the
small business community. They can't afford to buy a home, put their kids into
baseball and hockey leagues or send them to university. This hits communities
Ryan added that residents need to stand up for quality public services
and not let politicians sell them off through privatization, contracting out
or relocation of these jobs and services. "Let's make our voices heard loud
and clear every time politicians try to sell-off public services."
The Durham Region concert was a huge success both for the community and
for CUPE's fight to preserve public services. "It was a great opportunity to
inform a lot of people about the value of quality public services," said Ryan.
Future Rock for Public Services concerts with April Wine are scheduled for
Thorold this Friday August 22nd and Kingston on August 29th , with further
concerts scheduled for the fall.
For further information:
For further information: Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario, (416)
209-0066; Valerie Dugale, CUPE Communications, (647) 225-3685