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TRAIL, B.C. The silence of the MLAs. Thats part of whats killing the West Kootenay where workers and residents worry that there communities will turn into ghost towns if the Campbell Liberals arent stopped, CUPE said today.

There are hundreds of houses for sale in the region, CUPE BC president Barry ONeill said after his second tour of the region. People are trying to escape as their jobs and community services disappear like smoke.

The Campbell Liberals have clearcut their way through this region with a fiscal chainsaw, he said. Hospitals, schools, courthouses, womens centres, legal and social service agenciesthey are cutting the beautiful towns of the Kootenays to shreds.

Nelson-Creston MLA Blair Suffredine and West Kootenay-Boundary MLA Sandy Santori know that their ridings are being torn apart by Victoria, ONeill told hundreds of CUPE members during his tour. But we are hearing nothing from these MLAs.

Wheres Blair? is a constant refrain these days, a sure sign that Suffredine is not defending his communities. Santori may want to speak out about the cuts in his riding but so far he is in danger of being renamed Silent Sandy.

Suffredine has admitted he cancelled meetings with citizens concerned about tolls for inland ferries because he was worried they might demonstrate against him. Then he turned on them and voted for Bill 25, the law that will bring in tolls.

Rumour has it that Santori may have had enough of the punishing cuts by his government. Will he finally speak out in the legislature? ONeill asked. Will he talk some sense into the Campbell Liberal slashing machine?

If MLAs dont begin to warn Victoria of the consequences in their ridings, ONeill warned. We could see them turn into ghost towns.


Ron Verzuh, CUPE Communications
(604) 785-1422

For more Strong Communities campaign news, check out cupe.bc.ca