CUPE engages municipal leaders in a conversation about equity and public services

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) The annual conference and trade show was back June 2-5 in Regina, Saskatchewan with a unique hybrid format. Over 2,000 delegates attended in person, including some CUPENational Executive Board and staff.

CUPE had a strong presence at the municipal conference by holding valuable conversations with mayors, councilors and other municipal officials and employees from across Canada and by hosting an information booth.

CUPE is proud to have a large footprint in the municipal workforce in Canada, representing 150,000 workers in the municipal sector from coast to coast,” said CUPENational President Mark Hancock during his opening remarks. “From day one of the pandemic, members have been on the front lines, providing health care, social services, emergency response and other essential services.

During the conference, CUPE also hosted a roundtable entitled “Municipal Finance – An Equity Lens”.

Through local stories from elected municipal officials and researchers on the panel and public participation through polling questions, there was an interesting discussion about equity and public services in housing, transportation, childcare and sustainability.

Panelists included: Cheryl Stadnichuk, Councilor for Regina, Kemi Akapo, Councilor for Peterborough, Simon Enoch, Saskatchewan Director, Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, and Angella MacEwan, CUPE‘s Economist.

Panelists agreed that community-based research, especially consulting with vulnerable and marginalized residents to know what they want and not make assumptions, is key to designing fair policies and meeting people where they are.

Kemi Akapo said that to reach marginalized communities, they run sessions at the New Canadian Centre, attend classes where newcomers learn English, and work with service providers who work with the homeless.

Learn more about CUPE and the municipal sector, visit cupe.ca/municipalities.