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Petition to improve the safety and quality of BC’s highways - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)


Will you sign this petition calling on the provincial government to make changes to B.C.'s highways maintenance program that will improve the quality and safety of our highways? 

For decades, highways workers maintained the roads as direct provincial government employees. Then in 1987, sweeping changes were made to restructure government and privatize many public services – this included a fast-track program to transfer highway maintenance to private contractors. This, the government of the day said, would reduce costs and improve maintenance. 

By 1994, the BCGEU had concluded that the privatization program actually cost more than would have been the case had the ministry continued its program unchanged. In a report sent to government at the time, our union pointed out that these cost differences could have been better understood had the ministry retained at least two service areas for comparison (our province is divided into 28 service areas). 

The Public Access Protection Society, a non-profit organization that advocates for access to and maintenance of public roads and trails, is calling on the provincial government to implement this strategy by bringing at least two highways service areas back under direct government service. The petition points out that by doing this we can: 

  1. Ensure the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective highway maintenance with safety for commuters and workers as a top priority.
  2. Maintain the knowledge and experience of highways maintenance within the ministry.
  3. Make sure the ministry is in a state of readiness to step in and deliver highway maintenance services directly in areas where service delivery has failed. 

The petition has already been signed by 1,500 British Columbians. In the interest of the enhanced safety and accountability of our highway maintenance program, please add your name today: