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VANCOUVER — Rather than protect public services, the Community Charter tabled in the Legislature yesterday puts those services even further at risk, says CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill.

After months of tinkering, Minister of State Ted Nebbling has introduced the long-awaited charter to replace the Local Government Act.

Although the massive document outlines the increased role of municipalities, it fails to deliver on repeated promises of revenue sources.

“The provincial government continues to download on municipalities without providing the promised sources of revenue, “O’Neill said.

The charter also allows municipalities to proceed with public private partnerships (P3) without providing project specifics to their constituents.

Previously, municipalities had to identify the parties, the nature, the terms and how much a P3 would cost. Under the proposed charter, voters will only be entitled to vote on a “concept”.

The charter also makes it harder for local democracy. Under the previous Local Government Act, citizens triggered a referendum by signing up 5 per cent of the voters. This has now been doubled to 10 per cent.

O’Neill also noted that there has been no consultation with labour, despite what Nebbling says.

“This is typical Liberal consultation,” O’Neill said. “We had a meeting scheduled this afternoon but by the minister cancelled at the last minute and introduced the legislation without meeting with B.C.’s largest union representing municipal workers.”

“We are not surprised that our concerns are being ignored, but the least Nebbling could do is not say he’s consulting with labour when he’s clearly not.”


Ron Verzuh, CUPE Communications,