PRINCE GEORGE—The Prince George core services review is nearing an end, and as part of its final phases KPMG has released a list of 193 ‘opportunities’ for Prince George residents to consider.
The report suggests drastic changes for public service delivery in Prince George, including a reduction in fire staff, privatization of the Four Seasons Pool and the sale of city assets including the Civic Centre and Pine Valley Golf Centre.
The report also suggests that several city services should be contracted out including garbage collection, cleaning and custodial work, mechanical and welding work, street sweeping and payroll.
Janet Bigelow, president of CUPE 1048, says that these potential changes could have a large impact in the quality of services that residents receive.
“We want residents to be aware of the implications of these ‘opportunities’,” said Bigelow. “Privatizing services, selling off assets and changing the way we run public facilities could mean major changes to public services in Prince George. This could include higher costs and lower quality of services.”
Bigelow also notes that the list of ‘opportunities’ provided by KPMG looks only at cost cutting measures. She believes to have an effective and meaningful discussion Mayor and Council must also consider revenue generating ideas.
CUPE 1048 has been working with CUPE 399 and other community groups over the past several months on the “I Heart PG” campaign which has aimed to educate Prince George residents on the importance of public services.
CUPE 399 president Gary Campbell says that the campaign has been very successful to date. He says that one of the key issues they have seen support for is keeping the Four Seasons Pool a public facility. Campbell notes that keeping the pool public would ensure that it remains accessible to all members of the community.
KPMG is due to issue their final report October 26th, in the meantime the public has the opportunity to comment on their draft report through a public consultation session which will be held Tuesday October 2nd from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Civic Centre as well as through an online survey which will be available until Monday October 8th on the City of Prince George’s website (www.princegeorge.ca).