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SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – Before a city council chamber packed with parents and children, Sault Ste. Marie councillors voted unanimously this evening to strike a committee composed of senior city staff, councillors, child care workers, and others to review the potential closure of three city-run child care centres.
“Child care workers are grateful to know the community is behind us, and deeply opposed to the idea of closing these centres,” said Maria Pino, child care worker at Jessie Irving and CUPE Local 67 Vice-President. “Thousands of community members came forward to let the City know what a mistake it would be to close these centres – we thank them for the impact their support had. Councillors delayed this decision today precisely because the community stood with us to defend high quality child care and our jobs.”
“Our expectation is that this committee will treat as its mandate finding ways to keep these child care centres open,” said John Sloan, President of Local 67, representing inside workers at the City of Sault Ste. Marie, including child care workers at the three affected centres. “We plan to contribute what we can to ensure that happens.”
Several parents addressed the council meeting alongside child care workers, and stated that as a matter of political leadership, they expect to see this council keep providing high quality child care to families in Sault Ste. Marie. Parents also outlined the chaos that would result from closing these centres.
For more information:
Cathy Donnelly, CUPE National Representative, (705) 946-9918
Andrea Addario, CUPE Communications, (416) 738-4329