On Tuesday, City Council supported Mayor John Tory’s motion to defer plans to further privatize waste collection. Tory moved for deferral because knew that he simply didn’t have enough votes at City Council to go ahead with his contracting out scheme.
The Council vote comes after months of campaigning from CUPE Local 416, whose members provide waste collection services east of Yonge St. Their petition at www.kickedtothecurb.ca garnered thousands of signatures, and residents from across Toronto — including many Local 79 members — called City Councillors to voice their opposition to further contracting out.
Why would Mayor Tory support privatization when an external study already concluded that the City would not save money? The facts certainly didn’t seem to sway his perspective. The cost per home in Etobicoke (with private collection) is $142.86, while in Scarborough (where Local 416 collects) it is only $126.89. Diversion rates east of Yonge St. are also higher. Even a third-party report by Ernst & Young showed that the City would not save money with further contracting out.
While we celebrate this public service victory, we must remember that Mayor Tory and his allies haven’t given up. Mayor Tory’s actions demonstrate that he’s dead-set on privatizing City services.