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BURNABY About $450 million in federal funding for the RAV rapid transit project should stay on the table as new plans are developed, says a letter from New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton.

The federal government should help by continuing to make $450 million available, says a letter sent June 24 to CUPE BC president Barry ONeill in response to a call for federal party election commitments.

A New Democratic government has no intention of withdrawing funds already committed for public transit, the letter adds. Our approach has been to expand the funds available and to allow municipalities to determine the best ways to meet local needs.

The letter goes on to say We do not believe this funding should be tied to any specific technology or route. And we reject any idea of making funding contingent on private operation of the transit system.

The other parties have not responded to CUPEs request. But both Liberals and Conservatives have told media they would leave the RAV funding on the table.

A business coalition has orchestrated a campaign to force a third vote on whether the RAV should proceed. Translink directors are being lobbied to change their votes in favour of a project that is widely viewed to be a bad business deal and a taxpayers nightmare.


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