Wednesday, March 11, 2009

OPSEU calls for action on Niagara Parks

Maid of the mist, Niagara Falls

The health and sustainability of Ontario parks, depends on the integrity and accountability of the organizations which manage them.  The Ontario government is the primary legal steward for our collective, natural heritage. It is recognizing more and more that committed, concerted and creative efforts are needed to slow down the freight train of global warming. OPSEU is calling on the Ontario government to re-assume responsibility for the management of the Niagara Parks Commission. 

OPSEU has been the union of choice for members at the Niagara Parks Commission since its inception in 1967. OPSEU has long been working to highlight and fix problems at the Niagara Parks Commission, like here, while defending jobs - many which are "green jobs" - against contracting out to the lowest, private-sector bidder or even non-bidder. There's big money in ferries. The G&M is taking a closer look at the situation.
Niagara Parks' union wants Ontario to take control of park's commission - Globe and Mail

Citing a “record of mismanagement and secrecy” at the Niagara Parks Commission, the union representing Niagara Parks workers wants the Ontario government to assume management of the 1,720 hectares of land under the commission's control.

The call comes days after The Globe and Mail reported on a controversial, no-bid, 25-year lease extension for the Maid of the Mist tour boat operation, the oldest and most popular attraction at Niagara Falls, which nets the parks commission millions of dollars in fees....

That record, the union said, includes a non-tendered marina lease, unmet crowd targets for a new $40-million attraction, and questionable spending while workers have been laid off, leading to a decline in maintenance of the commission's popular parks and infrastructure.

“Our members report that the park's infrastructure and lands are deteriorating while the commission makes irresponsible spending decisions,” OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas said in the release.
OPSEU Newser

Edited to add: There's at least one website focussed on the Maid of the Mist deal

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