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TERRACE, B.C. Tell Roger that women and children are going to starve because of his government. That was the message that some CUPE members wanted CUPE BC president Barry ONeill to send to Northern MLA Roger Harris.

Our members here tell me that people are going to lose their lives because of the Campbell Liberals relentless campaign to privatize the province, ONeill said during a visit to the northwest. They say that Harris is not listening or that he is looking the other way.

Weve got women who are prostituting themselves at the mall in broad daylight, a womens center worker told ONeill. And were going to see more of it. Harriss answer to the struggling center workers was to have a telethon to raise money.

Where will the people who are displaced by your governments actions go? ONeill asked, during a 45-minute meeting. I dont accept the premise that people are going to die, Harris replied.

Harris also refused to accept the view that people will die due to the Liberal cuts to legal aid and social services. The son of Jimmy Pattison should not be getting legal aid, he said in supporting the cuts. Its those people that made up 60 per cent of the clients.

This MLA also supports the treaty referendum, even though about 30 per cent of his constituents are aboriginal British Columbians, ONeill said.

Harris said he was not aware that the coming community charter would promote the privatization of the municipal sector. Rather, it would allow the flexibility to generate new revenues for communities.

With the college daycare center about to close, ONeill asked the MLA if he would help save it. No promises were made but they agreed this was a worthwhile suggestion.

The CUPE provincial president was on the final leg of a cross-province tour to promote the Strong Communities fightback campaign.


Ron Verzuh, CUPE Communications,
604-291-1940 cell: 604-785-1422