Communications & Social Marketing

Collective Bargaining Rights Campaign

Client: CUPE – National Office and Ontario Division

In the fall of 2012, CUPE came to Public Interest with an unprecedented problem. The Ontario Government had passed legislation and was tabling more to impose contracts on public sector workers, taking away the democratic right to free collective bargaining.

Expanded Access Campaign

Client: Association on Ontario Health Centres

When the Association of Ontario Health Centres campaigned to get the expansion of Community Health Centres (CHC) on the agenda for the 2011 provincial election, Public Interest helped by creating and implementing a strategy to build community support. As a result, the government funded 10 new CHC sites and committed to further expansion of the community health sector in the future.

Keep Toronto Hydro Public Campaign

Client: CUPE Local 1

CUPE Local 1, whose members work for Toronto Hydro, faced a proposal to sell-off part of the service to private interests in 2011. Over a six month period, Public Interest worked with the Local to defeat the proposal at Toronto City Council.

Needs Assessment and Policy Support – Implementation of Smoke Free Ontario Act

Client: Province of Ontario – Ministry of Health Promotion

In 2006, the Province of Ontario passed the Smoke Free Ontario Act, a prevention, cessation, and protection strategy designed to reduce smoking within enclosed workplaces. Recognizing the need for resources, tools, and other supports to ease the transition brought about by the new legislation, the provincial government approached Public Interest to study the issues surrounding the implementation of this legislation within institutions that serve senior citizens.

Strategic Initiative – Communications Support for Workers

Client: Society of Energy Professionals

Public Interest supported the first strike by the Society of Energy Professionals by developing and implementing communications strategies designed to build support among the membership and build political pressure on the government to force a settlement. Public Interest developed daily campaign updates, newspaper ads, media events and lobby materials. In the 12th week of the strike, the political pressure had become so intense that the Premier’s office intervened, the Board ordered the CEO to settle and the CEO was dismissed within a year.

Strategic Initiative – Save Our Structures

Client: Toronto Community Housing Corporation

Public Interest helped tenants living in public housing communities to organize in order to pressure the Ontario government to finance a $300-million increase in funding to cover long-sought repairs to social housing.

Public Interest supported the creation of the tenants group’s steering committee, trained spokespersons, organized demonstrations, developed key messages, and coordinated the media campaign. Hundreds of tenants participated in this effort, and the media campaign propelled the issue into the public discourse leading up to the 2007 provincial election.

Strategic Initiative – Stopping Water Privatization

Client: Toronto Water Watch

When Toronto City Council voted 26-16 to turn its water system over to a private corporation, most people thought it was a done deal, but Public Interest coordinated a year-long campaign to overturn a City Council decision. Public Interest helped build a broad coalition of labour, environment and citizens’ groups, generated extensive media coverage, lobbied key decision makers and ultimately persuaded City Council to overturn their previous decision by a vote of 33-4.

Taxi Policy Reform

Client: iTaxiworkers Association

Public Interest partnered with the iTaxiworkers Association to support a campaign demanding significant taxi reform policies from City Hall to make all taxicabs driver-owned, ending unfair cash grabs by various industry middlemen. The campaign won a decisive victory at City Council on Wednesday, February 19, 2014. Rejecting a more conservative set of reforms, council voted 31 to 12 in favour of overhauling the taxi industry within the next ten years.

Waste Collection Anti-Privatization Campaign

Client: CUPE 416

In 2011, the City of Toronto proposed contracting out half of the City’s waste collection services. Public Interest worked with CUPE Local 416, which represents the City’s waste collectors, to bring greater scrutiny to the proposal. As a result, City Council deferred the decision for six months. When the proposal eventually passed by a very close vote, it contained a number of amendments to improve transparency regarding the actual cost and quality of the contracted services.

“Toronto Works Better Together” – bargaining support

Client: CUPE Ontario

When Toronto Locals were in the spotlight during a contentious round of bargaining in 2012, CUPE called Public Interest for support. By engendering a responsive dialogue with community stakeholders and effective communications with the public, Public Interest helped connect residents’ support for protecting public services to protecting the workers that provide them.

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