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BURNABY Voters will remember that the TransLink board allowed itself to be railroaded by big business into accepting a disastrous deal to privately build and run the controversial RAV rapid transit line, says CUPE.

I predict that this deal will have disastrous consequences almost from the start, CUPE BC president Barry ONeill said after todays third vote in favour of proceeding with the 35-year-deal.

Despite a poll released just days before todays meeting that showed the public is against the RAV, the board agreed by a vote of 8-4 to proceed with a public private partnership that will almost certainly bring huge cost increases for years to come.

I say shame on the board for being pawns in this game of political manipulation using taxpayers money as the prize, ONeill said. It has been kicked and shoved into siding with the interests of big business and the Campbell government, not those of taxpayers and the public.

The CUPE leader told the board that costs would go up almost before breaking ground because of unforeseen, but inevitable, changes in the plan.

Then there will be problems tunneling under Cambie St. with the builder saying the geo-technical surveys didnt reveal the problems, he said. And the price will go up again.

When the line is complete, you will pay for 100,000 riders but you will not get them, he said. When that number doesnt materialize, you will cannibalize the rest of the system to pay your private partner for 35 years.

Meanwhile, CUPE members and other working people in the lower mainland, will pay for this monumental mistake, ONeill said. And when the bill comes due, they will remember who was responsible for it.


Barry ONeill, CUPE BC President, 604-916-8444;
Ron Verzuh, CUPE Communications, 604-828-7668.