CUPE News
Also in this section:

October 18, 2012

   |   Share This Story   

A Critical Look at Core Service Reviews: The Toronto Experience

PRINCE GEORGE— More than 100 people gathered in a lecture hall at the College of New Caledonia Tuesday evening to hear about Toronto’s core service review experience.

 

CUPE 399 and 1048 along with the Stand Up for the North Committee and the CNC Faculty Association sponsored the event ‘A Critical Look at Core Service Reviews: The Toronto Experience’ with the goal of learning from another community’s core service review.

Community organizer Sean Meagher was the guest speaker and told the audience about Toronto’s core service review and their experience with KPMG.

Meagher suggests that core service reviews have a bias for the lowest common denominator and that they aim to cut and contract out services not improve communities.

Meagher also pointed out several flaws with the Toronto Core Service Review and the ‘opportunities’ which KPMG suggested. One of the most notable was KPMG’s suggestion to sell off the City’s Zoo, perhaps an idea that Council could have entertained if they owned either the land that the Zoo was built on or the animals in the Zoo. Meagher said as it turned out the only part of the Zoo that the City owned was the cages.

However, Meagher said that what really turned things around in Toronto was the public talking with their city councillors. Torontonians held their own meetings and demonstrations and spoke directly to their councillors about what was going on in their neighbourhoods and how they would be affected.

He says that one of the reasons this worked was the diverse message from the public. Library users spoke about libraries, transit users spoke about transit even homeless men defended the shelters they lived in.

"Those diverse voices all added up to one message, which was the core service review wasn't working.”

Peter Ewart from the Stand Up for the North Committee also gave a presentation which outlined ten issues with the Prince George core service review. These ranged from the disproportionate cost Prince George spent on the review to the complexity of the online surveys to the lack of input from community group besides the business community.

 “It’s astonishing when you see all the similarities between the two reviews”, says CUPE 1048 president Janet Bigelow. “The main message I took away from the meeting was the need for our community to have an open discussion about what we want our city to be like. That will be the goal of the Town Hall meeting we are going to host after the final core service review report has been released.”

This event also took place in Victoria Monday evening which is a community that is just beginning a core review process. The City of Victoria sent out a request for proposal in mid-July and has since awarded the contract to Maximus Canada. No further details have been announced to date.

If your community is considering a core service review CUPE BC encourages you to contact Zoe Magnus, CUPE BC privatization coordinator.

More information on core service reviews can also be found here.

cope491

 

Related News

Township of Langley Arenas brought back in-house

Apr 13, 2016

TOWNSHIP OF LANGLEY- CUPE 403 is proud to announce that after nearly 20 years two arenas in the Township of Langley will once again be operated in-house. more...

CUPE 15 urges public to stand up for public education

Apr 12, 2016

VANCOUVER - The Vancouver School Board is considering permanent closure of 12 to 13 schools in order to balance their budget. The BC Liberal government more...

Community Social Services: New agreement on portability and retention reached

Apr 08, 2016

Earlier this year, an agreement was reached that could allow union members covered by the Community Social Services (CSS) General Services, Community Living more...

Sooke Wastewater Services to be delivered in-house

Apr 08, 2016

SOOKE – The District of Sooke has voted unanimously to end their contract with for-profit contractor EPCOR and bring wastewater services in-house. Sooke more...

Click here for the archive