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VANCOUVER The Liberals new Community Charter Council leaves out the people who use municipal services everyday, says the leader of BCs largest union.

The Liberals have no sense of community, said Barry ONeill, president of CUPE BC. They obviously dont think community groups or the public should have any say in the development of Community Charter legislation.

The Campbell Liberals seem to think the community is only made up of municipal politicians as represented by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM).

Bill 18 establishes an appointed council with no requirement for public reports or community consultation, ONeill said. This is hardly an open or transparent process. It is the opposite.

They are ignoring the legitimate interest of community groups such as neighbourhood associations, community support groups, seniors, youth, community service workers or garbage collectors.

We all count on services that meet our needs, protect our families and build strong communities, ONeill added. By leaving out the people who use these services, the Liberals are doing nothing to ensure they are protected.

ONeill is demanding as a representative of 65,000 workers who live and work with their families in communities throughout BC that the government amend its legislation to guarantee consultation, openness and the protection of services.

And any reports must be public or there will be no credibility in the process, said ONeill. We do not want to see a back-room deal between the UBCM and the provincial government become law.

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Contact: Barry ONeill, CUPE BC President, 604-916-8444.