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The Liberal government of Gordon Campbell is continuing its privatization spree, and no sector in the province is safe. Despite promising in the last election to keep BC Rail public, Campbell has now decided to sell off the provinces most vital transportation link to CN. Even former premier Bill Vander Zalm, who headed up the last Social Credit government, joined in opposing the deal, arguing that BC Rail is an important and profitable public service that should belong to all British Columbians, instead of Campbells corporate friends.

Campbell is also moving ahead with the privatization of the new high-speed train line from Vancouver to the Richmond Airport (RAV). Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are being promised for this project, yet it will still be operated by the private sector. And now, Campbell is re-writing legislation so that private contractors can fast-track infrastructure projects like the RAV through the BC cabinet, and avoid proper review mechanisms. With the 2010 Olympics only six years away, CUPE members will be paying close attention to who is profiting from the games.

So far, CUPE health care workers have faced the most vicious attacks of all during Campbells reign of error, with health care services being sold off to the highest bidder, and HEU/CUPE members being undercut by weak agreements between multinational consortiums and the IWA. But there is some good news: the BC labour board recently ruled that the Provincial Health Services Authority violated the Labour Code by refusing to meet with HEU to consider alternatives to privatization. The arbitrator said that, even though the health authority had signed deals with a multinational, HEU still had the right to open up the contracts and make changes.

Even in small communities, British Columbia CUPE members are being forced to fight privatization projects. In a recent referendum, voters in Kamloops voted to support a public-private sports complex, despite objections from the Kamloops and District Labour Council. Now, CUPE members are fighting for the right to represent the people who will work at the $37.5 million facility.