CUPE members in British Columbia are gaining ground as they take on a large-scale proposal to hand over Greater Vancouvers drinking water to big business.
CUPE BC launched the campaign earlier this year to challenge a $150 million privatization plan by the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD). The public-private partnership scheme would allow the regions new water filtration plant to be designed, built, and operated by one of several multinational consortiums bidding on the contract.
Polling commissioned by CUPE shows that fewer than one in ten Greater Vancouver residents are aware of the regional governments plans, and that they would be opposed to the scheme by an overwhelming margin.
In a presentation to the GVRD board last week, CUPE BC vice-president Chuck White called on regional politicians to consult with local residents before proceeding with the contract. Board members reluctantly agreed to hold a public information meeting later this month to gauge public response to the plan.