"I'm glad the court is giving the BCGEU/NUPGE a chance to expose the petitioner's argument for what it is: an attempt to get around the $200,000 advertising cap." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
Vancouver (02 Oct. 2018) — The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) was granted intervenor status with the right to call evidence by the B.C. Supreme Court, in response to the petition brought forth by the Independent Contractors and Business Association (ICBA), the Canada West Construction Union, and private citizen Kenneth Baerg. The petition challenges the provincial government's proportional representation referendum ballot and big money ban.
BCGEU/NUPGE gets intervenor status
"It's no secret that most British Columbians are deeply dissatisfied with the current electoral system, and BCGEU/NUPGE members are overwhelmingly in that camp," says Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President. "That's why we decided to speak out against the petitioners and stand up for the right of all working people to have a voice in electoral reform through this referendum."
Representing over 77,000 members in every corner of the province, the BCGEU/NUPGE's membership has expressed strong support for electoral reform.
ICBA already reprimanded by court for abusing the injuction process
The BCGEU/NUPGE will argue that the petitioners had the opportunity to provide input on the referendum during a provincial government public engagement process that took place between November 23, 2017 and February 28, 2018. The BCGEU/NUPGE, along with 46 other organizations and 208 individuals, made written submissions to the provincial government during this time, but the ICBA and others made no contribution.
Claiming that the current electoral system is more conducive to their business interests, the petitioners do not represent the interests of British Columbians, but rather a narrow band of businesses.
The ICBA have already been handed a strong reprimand from the court earlier this fall, when a judge dismissed their injunction application and found their case to be based, in part, on conjecture, rhetoric, and exaggeration.
"I'm glad the court is giving the BCGEU/NUPGE a chance to expose the petitioner's argument for what it is: an attempt to get around the $200,000 advertising cap," says Smith. "And I'm looking forward to defending the rights of our members and all British Columbians in open court."
For more on BCGEU/NUPGE's electoral reform campaign, visit fairelections.bcgeu.ca and see Smith's opinion piece: Electoral reform will deliver the full power of the vote
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE