Shirley Bond refuses to meet Transit Union

Transportation minister Shirley Bond recently turned down an anywhere-anytime request meet with a union representing workers at TransLink and BC Transit Victoria. But a ministry spokesperson said that denial doesn’t have anything to do with the union’s election advertising campaign, which featured the controversial Gordon Campbell Hates You commercial. In fact, according the spokesperson, a meeting between the minister and the union will happen in the future.

Writing to the minister’s office on June 16, Canadian Office and Professional Employees Local 378 communications director Mike Bruce stated the union’s president Andy Ross “would be grateful if you were able to find a time to meet with him, and is prepared to meet at any time and location that is convenient to you and your staff. Travel in BC is not a problem and we will adjust our schedules to your convenience.”

In response, Minister Bond’s administrative assistant Katelyn Orr wrote her boss is “unable to accommodate this request at this time due to previous commitments in her schedule.”

But the spokesperson clarified, “There’s no reticence to meet with this group at all. That will happen whenever the time can be found in the future.”

The following is a complete copy of the aforementioned correspondence.

***

From: Mike Bruce
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 10:55 AM
To: ‘Minister.Transportation@gov.bc.ca’
Subject: Request for Meeting with TransLink Union

Dear Minister Bond,

I am writing to you on behalf of Andy Ross, President of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees, Local 378 (COPE 378).

First off, we wish to congratulate you on your recent re-election and appointment as Minister of Transportation.

We would also like to request a meeting with you in order to promote dialogue and constructive engagement with regards to issues surrounding transit and transportation in BC.

COPE 378 represents workers at TransLink, Coast Mountain Bus Company, BC Transit Victoria, and Pacific Vehicle Testing Technologies, as well as a number of other public and private sector workplaces across a number of industries.

We met recently with Minister Falcon and had a productive and respectful conversation with regards to some of our organization’s priorities and concerns around transit funding and governance. It was extremely productive for us to have this dialogue, and I would very much hope to have a similar relationship with you as Minister.

Mr. Ross would be grateful if you were able to find a time to meet with him, and is prepared to meet at any time and location that is convenient to you and your staff. Travel in BC is not a problem and we will adjust our schedules to your convenience.

Thank you for your time, and Mr. Ross and I look forward to speaking with you in the near future.

Arrangements can be made through myself, Mike Bruce or through Mr. Ross’ assistant, Karen Caston, as 604-299-0378.

Yours,

Mike Bruce
Director of Communications
Canadian Office and Professional Employees Local 378

***

From: Orr, Katelyn TRAN:EX [mailto:Katelyn.Orr@gov.bc.ca]
Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 10:48 AM
To: Mike Bruce
Subject: Meeting request with Minister Bond

Hello,

On behalf of the Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, I would like to thank you for your interest to meet with Minister Bond under her new portfolio.

Minister Bond is unable to accommodate this request at this time due to previous commitments in her schedule.

Thank you

Katelyn Orr
Administrative Coordinator to the
Honourable Shirley Bond
Minister Transportation and Infrastructure

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