Metro Vancouver District Council

Western Canada Municipal Workers' Conference - image 0

Western Canada Municipal Workers' Conference

The Western Canada Municipal Conference was held on September 9 to 11, 2005 in Kelowna, BC. Approximately 160 delegates attended from BC to Manitoba. The majority of the delegates were from BC and Alberta, with about 25 to 30 delegates from the Metro Vancouver area. There was some comments from non BC delegates that the conference was one day short compared to those conferences held annually outside BC.

The conference opened on Friday evening with a welcome from Barry O'Neill - CUPE BC President. This was followed by the guest speaker, Paul Moist - CUPE National President. In his speech, he highlighted some municipal issues throughout the country. He spoke of successes such as the rejection by the Regional District of Nanaimo to contracting out 14 rural water systems to Edmonton Power Corporation (EPCOR); and of failures which happened in the City of Winnipeg with the contracting out of waste management services.

Saturday's morning plenary was presented by Barry O'Neill, covering more issues regarding P3s in the municipal sector. This was followed by a session by the CUPE BC Strong Communities staff in presenting the Communities Elections BC Model.

At the lunch break, delegates went to the local Telus building and supported the striking TWU workers. Local leaders of the TWU and the Canadian Media Guild spoke at the rally - as well as Mark Hancock - CUPE BC Secretary-Treasurer.

The afternoon consisted of two workshop sessions, and one more workshop session Sunday morning. All delegates had to pick three workshops from the following choices:

  1. Trends in Privatization in Western Canada
  2. Attendance Management Programs
  3. How to Run Campaigns Against P3s & Contracting Out
  4. Water Certification & Water Privitization
  5. Duty to Accommodate
  6. Involving Young Workers

The closing plenary was chaired by Ken Davidson - CUPE BC General Vice-President. There was a motion passed to lend support to the the striking members of local 21 - City of Regina. The plenary finished off with local reports. Unfortunately, many delegates had left - there was one report from Manitoba and none from Saskatchewan.

The 2006 Conference will be held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in the month of June.

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