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VANCOUVER—This year’s convention of the B.C. division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees will focus on local development issues and the union’s continuing efforts to promote economic alternatives to privatization.

Six hundred delegates are expected to attend CUPE BC’s 45th annual convention, which begins next Wednesday (April 16) and runs until Saturday, April 19 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

This year’s theme, “Building Sustainable Communities”, follows a provincial tour by CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill that looked at how to promote local economic development in an age of globalization. This year’s international guest speaker, economist Michael Shuman, will expand on this theme in his Friday afternoon (3 p.m., April 18) address.

Other guest speakers are federal NDP leader Jack Layton (April 18, 11:15 a.m.), BC NDP leader Carole James (April 17, 1:30 p.m.), and BC Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair (April 19, 11:00 a.m.).

CUPE National president Paul Moist will deliver his report to convention on April 17 at 11 a.m., with CUPE National secretary-treasurer Claude Généreux following with his report at 4 p.m., also on April 17.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 16 until Saturday, April 19, 2008

WHERE: Hyatt Regency Hotel, Vancouver, B.C.

Contact:  Dan Gawthrop, CUPE Communications, 604-999-6132