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March 19, 2010

Public sewage treatment could be over $100 million cheaper

VICTORIA - A new report by B.C.’s most respected forensic accountant, Ron Parks, finds in favour of public operation of sewage treatment in the Capital Regional District (CRD).

Parks’ review of the business case in support of provincial funding for sewage treatment finds that the assumed cost of public operation is inflated in a number of ways, including double-counting risk, unjustified assumption of higher public costs, and using a discount rate that is too high.

The business case uses an assumed discount rate of 7.5 per cent, while Parks suggests a more appropriate rate w

March 18, 2010

Celebrate World Water Day 2010!

Sunday, March 21, 2-4pm

Grandview Park, Commercial at Charles

Vancouver

VANCOUVER —Join the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Council of Canadians in a Toast to Public Water leading up to World Water Day on March 22. This free, outdoor all-ages event will take place in East Vancouver’s Grandview Park at Commercial and Charles. On tap will be live music by local folk/roots favourites Headwater.

March 16, 2010

Voices for public sewage treatment in Victoria

VICTORIA—At meetings on February 25 and March 10, the house was full as Capital Regional District residents shared their views on sewage treatment procurement. Members of the Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee heard passionate and reasoned arguments about why privatization is wrong for Greater Victoria’s new sewage treatment from a broad cross section of people in the region.

Victoria’s independent TV was there to record.

March 15, 2010

Public Services International activist visits B.C.

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES— After meeting with staff, the PSI activist (third from left) posed with CUPE National staff rep Bill Pegler, CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill, CUPE BC regional vice president (and International Solidarity committee chair) Doug Sprenger, Community Organizer Susan Zander, CUPE BC executive assistant Sharon Prescott, and International Solidarity committee staff advisor Paul Tetrault.

BURNABY—Indah Budiarti, the organizing and communications coordinator for the Southeast Asian region for Pu

March 12, 2010

CUPE Metro IWD lunch - a community success

VANCOUVER – Service providers and women from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside marked International Women’s Day on Monday this week at a lunch sponsored by CUPE Metro Vancouver District Council.

March 11, 2010

The community comes out for public sewage in Victoria

VICTORIA-The house was full at the second public meeting for citizens in the Capital Regional District to share their views on sewage treatment procurement.

March 10, 2010

Minister rejects offer from paramedics

VICTORIA – Health Services Minister Kevin Falcon was quick to reject union efforts to secure a contract for the province’s 3,500 ambulance paramedics. Falcon did admit that the ambulance service is broken and needs fixing, which the union has been saying for the past four years.

In a bid for a new contract after more than a year of on-again off-again talks, the Ambulance Paramedics of BC leadership had suggested rolling over the current collective agreement until April 1, 2012.

March 10, 2010

CUPE 118 scores in Port Alberni!

PORT ALBERNI – CUPE 118, municipal workers in Port Alberni, sponsored the first playoff hockey game of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs last night as part of their action to build community support for public services.

The Local welcomed local hockey fans at the CUPE booth that featured photos of members at work in Port Alberni (taken by CUPE 118 member Ryan Foster). Fans were able to pick up decals in support of public services, get information on what CUPE does, and enter a draw.

March 10, 2010

Paramedics agree on contract roll-over

RICHMOND – In an effort to conclude stymied contract talks, the Ambulance Paramedics of BC have agreed to roll over their collective agreement until April 1, 2012.

CUPE 873 president John Strohmaier says the move to extend the current collective agreement “would at least give paramedics and emergency dispatchers some much needed stability while allowing both the union and the employer to use existing mechanisms to resolve the day-to-day operational needs.

March 9, 2010

CRD vulnerable to trade restrictions with sewage P3

BURNABY—If local governments opt for public private partnerships (P3s), something which is under consideration for the Capital Regional District’s new sewage treatment, they are more vulnerable to the restrictions of the Canada-United States Procurement Agreement (CUPA).

A new legal opinion by Steven Shrybman of Sack Goldblatt Mitchell says the CUPA contains temporary rules that will make it difficult for the CRD to achieve environmental protection and local economic development objectives.