Feb 19, 2015

B.C.’s largest union to support “Yes” vote in transportation plebiscite

BURNABY—CUPE BC’s Executive Board voted this week to support the “Yes” campaign in the transportation and transit plebiscite to be held in Metro Vancouver this spring.

“While we would prefer that the provincial government actually demonstrate leadership on this crucial issue and properly fund public transit and transportation, we will strongly encourage our members in the Lower Mainland to vote ‘Yes,’” said CUPE BC Secretary-Treasurer Paul Faoro. “CUPE fundamentally rejects the notion that taxation policy should be determined in this manner, but the reality is that the BC Liberals have given progressives and others who support strong public services no choice but to campaign for a ‘Yes’ vote.

“Many CUPE members in the Lower Mainland depend on transit to get to and from their jobs,” said Faoro. “They will obviously benefit from the increased investment in buses and rapid transit, but so will our members who drive to work, as an improved transit system will help reduce the congestion that clogs so many of our transportation routes.”

CUPE BC will be focusing its efforts on a member-to-member campaign, encouraging the 35,000 CUPE members in the Metro Vancouver area to vote in favour of the modest increase to the provincial sales tax.

“It’s important to emphasize how opposed we are to this abdication of leadership by the BC Liberals,” said Faoro. “We elect politicians to lead, not govern by opinion polls. Nonetheless, it’s important we do all we can to ensure this plebiscite is successful. We can’t put our heads in the sand and hope this goes away. So we will be asking our members to vote in favour of it—but we’ll be reminding them at the next provincial election that this utter lack of leadership from the Premier and her government is a key part of their record in office.”


COPE 491