Media advisory - Photo Op: Sid Ryan meets Welland city workers today on P3 issue

                              Photo Opportunity
                    Date:     Wednesday, February 6, 2008
                    Time:     4:30 - 4:50 p.m.
                    Location: Welland Civic Square
                              60 East Main Street
                              Meeting Rooms 108/109

    CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan and Executives of CUPE 1115 will be on
    hand to speak to the media about P3s and what they mean for
    municipalities and residents.

    WELLAND, ON, Feb. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian Union of Public Employees
(CUPE) Ontario President Sid Ryan will meet with members of CUPE 1115, Welland
city workers, this Wednesday, February 6, to share with them why privatized
facilities like sports complexes and arenas are a rip-off for local residents
and a drain on local municipal budgets.
    "From Windsor to Kingston to Niagara, local councils have rejected
so-called public-private partnerships (P3s) for building and operating
community facilities," says Ryan. "That's because they end up costing more,
are not responsive to local needs, and are less accountable than
publicly-owned and operated facilities." Ryan's meeting with CUPE 1115 members
comes in the wake of Welland city council's referral of a proposed $17 million
soccer complex and possible arena to its budget review committee. Welland city
manager Peter Simmons is promoting the idea that the complex be developed as a
public-private partnership.
    Ryan says that, in many cases, residents have had to pay higher user fees
to access private arenas, they frequently have less access, and they usually
face service cuts. Last year, the City of Ottawa took back control of one
arena and offered another private operator a bail out of $1.6 million a year
to make the deal work. Ryan added that the town of Oshawa went for a P3 arena,
and then realized it was a bad deal when they actually saw the financial
    CUPE Ontario is prepared to work with CUPE 1115 president Scott
Richardson and his members to make the case to Welland City Council and its
budget review committee that a P3 model is not the right model for Welland's
proposed sports facilities, says Ryan. The matter comes up before the budget
review committee on February 12.

For further information:

For further information: Valerie Dugale, CUPE Communications, (647)
225-3685; Sid Ryan, CUPE Ontario President, (416) 209-0066

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