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February 11, 2002

BURNABY The Campbell Liberals have again attacked the weakest in our communities by trying to end legal services for the poor, said CUPE BC president Barry ONeill in supporting the walkout today of hundreds of legal services workers.

Some of the most vulnerable may lose their legal protection because of this latest wrongheaded cut by the Liberals, ONeill said. Any cuts to these services will hit families, including battered women and single mothers.

New Canadians, without strong English language skills, will be hurt, he added. They could lose their ability to participate as citizens with full access to the legal system. Legal information now is translated into 17 different languages.

CUPE applauds the Legal Services Society boards refusal to implement a budget based on cuts to legal aid services. They are standing up for the importance of an independent role that supports the disadvantaged in our communities, ONeill said. The Liberals are doing the opposite.

Do the right thing for once and reinstate funding levels so that legal services workers, including CUPE members, can get on with the job of representing these citizens who are most in need, ONeill said.


Contact: Ron Verzuh, communications representative,

604-785-1422 (cell) or 604-291-1940.