Building a coalition of 34 groups, including organized labour, education, seniors, anti-poverty, aboriginal, women, student and other movements, is no small accomplishment. A result of at least four months of meetings, The Coalition to Build a Better BC has done just this. The coalition kicked off with a rally in Downtown Vancouver, Saturday, April 10th.
A diverse and spirited crowd showed up in glorious sunshine to show their support for public and community services. Under Gordon Campbell it has been cuts, cuts, cuts for everyone but big business, which instead finds itself rewarded.
As the Coalition's website explains, "It is unacceptable for government to take more from those who have the least, in order to give more to those who have the most... When government singles out groups of individuals – by cutting services they depend on, raising fees inequitably, and unfairly shifting taxes – it diminishes all of us. It doesn’t bring us together. It divides us."
The purpose of the Coalition to Build a Better BC is to bring the people who live and work in BC together. As BC Federation of Labour president, Jim Sinclair, told the crowd "If we are divided we can never take our province back. We need to be united now like never before."
And united the crowd was, as folk singer MC Jim Burns led the crowd in a spirited rendition of "Times, they are a changing", and rally speakers from many of the social movements represented explained why they had joined forces in the Coalition.
The Coalition to Build a Better BC calls on the provincial government to:
- - Immediately stop eliminating public and community services;
- - Fulfill their legislative responsibility to provide adequate, fair and consistent funding to support public services and community groups; and
- - Work in substantive consultation with groups and individuals to build public and community services that give every individual the democratic opportunity to participate in building a better BC.
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