CRANBROOK—A ribbon cutting ceremony received cheers and applause from the large crowd of CUPE members and staff, politicians and local business people who joined CUPE National secretary-treasurer Claude Généreux for the opening of CUPE’s new Cranbrook area office on September 18.
Généreux thanked the Ktunaxa First Nation for allowing CUPE to spend time in their community and on their lands. “CUPE has been here for two generations and we want to stay and grow with this community. This stand-alone building – our first in British Columbia – shows the roots we have put down here and our commitment to the future,” said Généreux.
The opening was hosted by CUPE National representative Wayne Malone. CUPE local representatives and staff – including retirees – came from all parts of the region, and from as far away as Golden.
Donn Stanley, CUPE’s B.C. regional director, thanked everyone involved in the new building and the opening celebrations. “We are especially proud that we were able to support the local economy and draw on local resources – local contractors, workers, and even wood – in developing the building,” said Stanley.
CUPE 748 executive member Gerry Shmon presented Stanley with a plaque from CUPE’s Kootenay District Council in honour of the new office.
Among the guests were Cranbrook mayor Ross Priest and city councilor Bruce Mollison; Leon Pendleton, federal NDP candidate in the Kootenay-Columbia riding; and Troy Sebastian, Special Projects Coordinator for the Ktunaxa Nation, who is seeking the NDP provincial nomination in the East Kootenay constituency. Representatives of a number of other unions in the area also attended.
CUPE’s office, located at 116 - 7th Avenue South in Cranbrook, is environmentally designed and features front beams made of local wood. Built on land owned by CUPE, building construction began two years ago and was completed in May 2007. The building is also home to CUPE 2090, (City of Cranbrook, Airport) and CUPE 4165 (Southeast Kootenay School District #5).
CUPE’s Cranbrook area office services the East Kootenay communities of Golden, Fernie, Sparwood, Invermere, Elkford and Cranbrook. CUPE members work for school districts, municipalities, regional districts, airport services, libraries, a college, and social services.
Roseanne Moran, CUPE Communications (604) 291-1940: Wayne Malone, CUPE National Representative: (250) 417-6553