News Release - Business Council of B.C. Statement on Impending Transit Disruption

November 26, 2019

VANCOUVER, BC – November 26, 2019 – The Business Council remains concerned for employees and employers at the possibility of further system wide disruption of Bus and Sea Bus services affecting B.C. residents and businesses but is encouraged at the resumption of talks for later today.

“We are encouraged that both parties have agreed to meet today to negotiate a reasonable settlement in this labour dispute,” stated Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO of the Business Council of B.C. “We remain very concerned about the prospects for further disruption to Coast Mountain Bus and SeaBus services and are calling on both parties to remain at the table and resolve matters as quickly as possible; to call off the disruption scheduled for later this week; and bring certainty to the residents and businesses of British Columbia.”

When employees can’t efficiently get to work, doctors’ appointments and childcare, it threatens their ability to support their families and undermines the businesses and economy that contribute to our quality of life. The possibility of a complete transit shut down will severely impact small and large businesses’ ability to meet customer needs, services and delivery obligations; as well as other essential public services such as education and healthcare.

“With the uncertainty that comes from a prolonged labour dispute and the continued inability to move people and goods, there are direct negative consequences felt within and far beyond the Lower Mainland.” said Mr. D’Avignon. “B.C is a small, open trading, and diverse economy that relies on the mobility of people and goods to operate efficiently, when slowed or stopped, we all suffer.

Our rural communities rely on Metro Vancouver employers and workers for the services that enable trade, the shipment of household necessities, and the export of goods on our roads, through our ports and across borders.”

The transit disruption will have the potential to further contribute to the already slowing B.C. economy, that the Business Council highlighted in our recent BC Economic Review and Outlook.

The Business Council of B.C. is calling on Coast Mountain Bus Company and Unifor to resolve this dispute in a fair manner and postpone the planned shutdown through meaningful negotiations. Just as importantly, we call for leadership from both parties to consider the students, seniors, employees and employers that rely on them for their personal and our shared quality of life that benefit all British Columbians.

About the Business Council of British Columbia

Now in its 53rd year as the premier business organization in British Columbia, the Business Council of B.C. is a non-partisan organization made up of 250 of the leading and largest companies, post-secondary institutions and industry organizations from across B.C.'s diverse economy who employ approximately 20 percent of private sector employees. The Council produces high quality public policy research and advocacy in support of creating a competitive economy for the benefit of all British Columbians.

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