CUPE NL has passed an emergency resolution at its convention in Gander to fight cuts to the provincial library system. CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas says, “This government needs to reverse the funding cuts to the Provincial Information and Library Resources Board. Their plan to close more than half the libraries in the province has been roundly condemned and poses a direct threat to dozens of communities.

“Attempting to balance the provincial budget on the backs of rural women and others who are least able to afford it, is unacceptable. Sadly, Newfoundland and Labrador has one of the lowest levels of literacy in Canada, and this moves our province in exactly the wrong direction,” says Lucas. Convention delegate Judy Kennedy, a library worker and CUPE 2329 member, quoted author Toby Forward who said, ‘Civilized nations build libraries; lands that have lost their soul close them down.’’

CUPE NL says it is particularly disappointed that Minister Dale Kirby held a news conference today expressly to say that the library closure decision will not be changed.