Published: September 3, 2007
[Editor's note: These comments are drawn from an address given by CUPE B.C. President Barry O'Neill to his union's convention on May 9, 2007, in Victoria.]
Since the provincial election in 2005, we have not seen the kind of sustained attack on working people and communities that we saw from 2001 to 2005, at least on the face of it. But of course the cuts for the poor, for women, for community services, for childcare -- they stayed in place. And thousands of our brothers and sisters in the HEU who lost their jobs did not get their jobs back. Those who did but were hired by privatized companies -- or the people who replaced them -- often live in poverty. . .
. . . And finally, we come to privatization and public-private partnerships. We know these deals do not work for our citizens. They are secretive, they are expensive and they don't deliver. But they are very, very profitable, and they are coming at us faster than we have ever seen before. We know that to meet the needs of municipalities over the next few years, there will need to be 60 billion dollars invested, and both the federal and provincial governments want that to fall in the hands of their corporate buddies.
We are fighting them, and despite the vast resources they have, we are often successful. How do you beat the money they can throw at these projects? Knowledge, skill, dedication and hard work.