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BURNABY Finally, a decision from the Campbell Liberals that makes sense for communities, CUPE says about the shelving of the Coquihalla highway sale.

Now lets make the right decision for communities about the RAV, B.C. Rail, B.C. Hydro, Abbotsford hospital and the long list of other giveaways that the provincial government has planned, acting CUPE BC president Mark Hancock said today.

The B.C. Liberals have wasted more than $3 million trying to get rid of the highway, Hancock said. But they didnt give a thought to what it would mean for local community economies.

The communities themselves did think about it. And they stood up and said no to the sale. Spontaneous actions were spearheaded by a lot of concerned people in those communities, he added. They told Campbell and his gang to keep their privatizing mitts off our highway.

The sell-off plan was officially announced in May. The Liberals were preparing to lease the highway to a private firm for 55 years and raise the tolls.

Its hard to believe that any government would not see the insanity of this proposal, Hancock said. Its actually quite frightening to know that this kind of thinking is influencing those in power.

Hancock praised the coalition groups that led the fierce opposition to the private deal, including local CUPE members. When a poll shows that 92 per cent of respondents dont want a private highway, youve got to be dumb as a post not to stop the project, he said.

Critics say Campbells decision may have spoiled his plan to take money from the Heartland to pay for expensive transportation projects such as rapid transit in the Lower Mainland.

Part of CUPE BCs ongoing Strong Communities campaign is to build awareness of the impact of privatization on communities.


Ron Verzuh, CUPE Communications, 604-828-7668.