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VERNON - The ministry of community social services is in crisis and to continue to implement cuts and restructure community living before the completion of the investigation will hurt children and families, says Barry O’Neill, president of CUPE BC.

On Monday, February 2nd, 2004 at 11:45 a.m. community social service workers will hold a rally outside of MLA Tom Christensen’s office in Vernon as part of a series of events protesting the $100 million already cut from community social services. The Ministry of Children and Families is planning another $70 million in cuts this year. Community social service workers have launched a campaign called “It’s the right thing to do”. The campaign is calling on the BC government to restore funding and stability to protect people in need.

On June 1, 2004, the Ministry plans to hand over responsibility to care for almost 10,000 people with disabilities to the Authority for Community Living, formerly headed by Doug Walls. With Walls’ resignation, Deputy Minister Chris Haynes’ termination, the resignation of former minister Gordon Hogg, and a full audit and investigation under way, CUPE BC is calling for a halt to the restructuring until the investigation is complete.


WHEN: 11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m, Monday, February 2nd, 2004 WHERE: MLA Tom Christensen’s constituency office - 3334 30 Avenue, Vernon

CUPE is BC’s largest union representing 69,000 workers in the province, and approximately 2000 community social service workers. These community social service workers care for society’s most vulnerable including people with disabilities, women in crisis, and children in need.


Contact: Mark Veerkamp, CUPE Communications, 604-790-3352 for more information or to arrange an interview with CUPE BC President Barry O’Neill.