BCNDP Joint Nomination Meeting for Saanich North & the Islands; Saanich South; and Oak Bay-Gordon Head

Upcoming NDP nomination meetings (see below), Saanich North and the Islands, Saanich South and Oak Bay-Gordon Head will be holding a joint nomination meeting on Sunday, February 5th at 2pm at the Saanich Fair Grounds Main Hall at 1528 Stellys Cross Road, Central Saanich

Saanich North and the Islands: Gary Holman is the sole candidate for the nomination, so will be acclaimed to the position. Gary was elected as the MLA for Saanich North and the Islands in May 2013. He serves as Opposition Spokesperson for Democratic Reform, Deputy Environment, Fisheries and B.C. Ferries.

Saanich South: Lana Popham is the sole candidate for the nomination, so will be acclaimed to the position. Lana was re-elected as MLA for Saanich South in May 2013. She is the Opposition Spokesperson for Agriculture and Food.

Oak Bay-Gordon Head: Bryce Casavant is the sole candidate for the nomination, so will be acclaimed to the position. Bryce served in the Canadian Forces and worked as a Conservation Officer, where he famously refused to put down two bear cubs in 2015 which ultimately cost him his job.

This meeting will be a great opportunity for you to support Gary and Lana and to meet Bryce. We hope that you and your members can make it to this meeting.

 

Stacking the deck for P3s in Victoria, BC

As the Greater Victoria region in BC proceeds with a mostly public plan for sewage treatment, after a decade of CUPE campaigning against a P3, the question remains: was a fully public option ever really available?

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of CUPE BC’s Public Employee magazine.

After years of planning and decades of discussion, the Greater Victoria region finally made a decision on how to treat the core area’s sewage this past September. CUPE members had been advocating from the start for a publicly owned, operated and maintained sewage treatment plant—and, from the start, the fight was an uphill battle.

The planning process began in 2006, after the BC government announced that the Capital Region District (CRD) must develop a plan for sewage treatment in the core area, which includes seven of the region’s municipalities. Shortly thereafter, then-Premier Gordon Campbell announced that the project must be evaluated by Partnerships BC to see if it could be a public-private partnership (P3).

“P3s will become the new capital standard,” crowed the premier in a BC government news release. “In the future, all provincially-funded capital projects with a value of over $20 million [that amount will later increase to $50 million] will be considered first by Partnerships BC to be built as a P3 unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise.”

Despite pressure from other levels of government to privatize vital community services, CRD residents continued to voice their support for public services. In a May 2009 report summarizing public consultations, the recurring theme was of “a community desire to have locally built, publicly owned and managed treatment facilty(ies).”

Even with strong community support for a fully public solution for sewage treatment, the CRD ultimately chose a hybrid approach to procurement that includes a mix of public and private procurement. The main treatment facility and conveyance system will be owned, operated and managed publicly. The resource recovery portion of the project, which will treat and manage the biosolids that remain after wastewater has been processed, will be delivered through the P3 model by an unknown private partner for 30 years.

In 2012, funding for the project was confirmed and the implementation phase of the project began. However, in 2014 that plan fell apart and the CRD went back to the planning phase. This caused grave concern for several reasons, one being that if the CRD lost the public funding they had secured there would be no other public funding available and a new application for federal funding would be subject to an automatic P3 screen.

Ultimately the same procurement model was suggested for the revised plan that the CRD approved in September 2016. The hybrid procurement model soon to be implemented could bring significant challenges.

Renewed pressure from Ottawa

We are certainly seeing a strong push for privatization at the federal level. Last fall Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his government was considering the creation of a “Canadian Infrastructure Development Bank”. This model would entice private companies and pension funds to invest heavily in public infrastructure. Should local governments want to access this funding, they could be forced to consider a P3.

This all begs the question of how much choice local governments have in procurement of new or updated infrastructure. While senior levels of government often try to drive decisions by imposing funding conditions like P3 screening, local governments can and do push back on their own and through their provincial and federal associations.

Now, more than ever, it is important to voice your concern over the federal government’s ‘infrastructure bank’ and insist that decisions around local services should be made by those communities – not by governments imposing their agenda on communities.

(reposted from CUPE national)

 

CUPE SD Fund Reminder

Please submit your full application package/s to CUPE SD, c/o the Human Resources Department, Lansdowne, by January 15th, for inclusion in the Sub-Committee’s monthly review.

(Do not send applications to the Union Office – Thanks!)

CUPE 2081 December General Meeting & Annual Holiday Social!

You are invited to attend the December General Meeting, which starts at 5:00pm, next Tuesday, Dec 13/16, in Room 209 of the Young Building at the Lansdowne campus.

Following the business at hand (see attachments), join us at our Annual Holiday Social! Wrap up the year with good company, enjoy a bite to eat, meet new people, and catch up on news from around our community.

Also, your Communications team has been busy all year, so there will be a special surprise for everyone in attendance! Bring a fellow worker! See you there!

Thank you,

Dawn and the CUPE Local 2081 Executive

General Membership Meeting – November 22

Greetings!

The next General Membership Meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 22, from 5-6:30pm in Campus Centre, Room 121.

Your opinion matters – Bring a co-worker!

Shredding Event for United Way – November 16

camosun-united-way-shredding2

The Shredding Event is happening Wednesday, November 16 for 1.5 hours at each campus! Start gathering your old papers to bring for shredding at either campus. $10 donation per box.

ACCESS, the company that Camosun uses to shred its confidential materials, will have a truck on campus. Bring your paper materials/documents that you need to be dealt with in a confidential manner and have them shredded here while you support the United Way.

Orange Shirt Day – gathering

On September 30, many Camosun students and employees will show their commitment to the principle that every child matters and to show support for those who attended residential schools and their families by wearing orange shirts.

Camosun Indigenous Studies students Eddy Charlie and Kristin Spray, with the support of the Camosun Board of Governors and the Centre for Indigenous Education and Community Connections, invite the college community and supporters to attend a gathering at 1:15pm, Friday, September 30 at Na’tsa’maht (the Gathering Place) at the Lansdowne Campus, wear an orange shirt, eat fry bread, and sing the huy ch qu song to show respect and to honour those who attended residential schools and their families.

For more information, please see Orange Shirt Day and TRC Calls to Action