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VANCOUVER The secretive plan to sell BC Rail to CN Rail means the gloves are off in the battle for British Columbia, said CUPE BC president Barry ONeill during angry debates at the B.C. Federation of Labour convention this week.

Our more than 100,000 CUPE members will not stand quiet anymore while the Campbell Liberals dismantle the entire province, ONeill said in reaction to the anticipated announcement of the sale.

Its a repugnant manoeuvre by Gordon Campbell to give early Christmas gifts to his big business friends, said the leader of the provinces largest union. The sale, together with other recent legislative actions, is stripping citizens and their municipal governments of their ability to survive economically, he added.

Weve seen the destruction of our health care system and our economic prospects. Now they are selling a profitable Crown corporation to an international corporation that continues to suck tax dollars from Canadians without providing the rail services they need.

Bill 94 deals another blow to the health care sector and Bill 75 attacks the elected power of municipal governments by giving corporations the right to overrule the current system of democratic checks and balances.

These bills will allow corporations to run roughshod over whatever democratic processes are left to ensure public and workplace safety and the survival of our community economies, the CUPE leader said.

ONeill is promising a broad-based campaign against the government slaughter of B.C. communities and services. While Im not prepared to give away plans today, he said, I can promise that CUPE will be mobilizing people right across this province in the coming months.


Louise Leclair (604)454-4711
Ron Verzuh (604) 828-7668.