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(VANCOUVER) What were seeing with the cuts to public jobs and services delivered on Black Thursday is no hatchet job its a full-on chainsaw massacre, charges Barry ONeill, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in B.C. Now our communities will suffer a double burden as they struggle to fund and deliver these necessary services at the local level.

How dare Premier Campbell claim that what he is doing is reasonable and responsible? The office of B.C.s Child Advocate pleaded with the Liberals not to make cuts to the Ministry of Children and Family Development for the sake of the children. So how can cutting more than 1,100 jobs in this front line ministry be a responsible action?

The Walkerton inquiry has found that cuts to Ontarios environment ministry contributed to tainted water supplies that killed seven people, and sickened thousands more. How can Campbell claim it is responsible to endanger our water supplies and environment by making even deeper cuts to this important ministry here?

How is it responsible to cut paramedic jobs, so there will be no ambulance service when people call for emergency help?

And how is it reasonable that Campbell can find the money to help fund a corporate-driven 2010 Olympics bid, but at the same time he cuts almost 40 per cent of the jobs in the Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Womens Services?

ONeill says, The disdain this government shows for all but the rich in our society is appalling. Gordon Campbells arrogance will be his undoing for we will do everything we can to dislodge him from power.

The nightmares he is creating for the thousands of people who are losing their homes, their health, and their hope because of his hurtful economic policies will come back to haunt him.

We must remember that Gordon Campbell and his Liberals were handed a balanced budget when they took office last May, ONeill adds. Then they gave themselves raises as MLAs, and created a massive deficit by giving tax breaks that benefit the wealthy the most. Why are working people, students, seniors, welfare moms, public services and the environment being sacrificed to pay for their gross financial miscalculations?

CUPE members, who form B.C.s largest union, are committed to working alongside our community partners to build a sustainable vision for our province that protects and supports all citizens. And we stand in solidarity with the thousands of members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union, and their families, who have been among the first targets of the Liberals so-called service plans.

You can bet that we will hold the Premier accountable for the ruthless and devastating actions of his government, ONeill vows.


Contact: CUPE BC President Barry ONeill (604) 916-8444