BROUGHT together by a provincial government unwilling to listen or act on their behalf, members of the United Truckers Association (“UTA”), Unifor and the Vancouver Taxi Association say they held a historic joint meeting last Sunday.

They said in a statement: “Each of the gathered groups have experienced the consequences of a BC Premier and Cabinet that has not only failed to live up to their obligations, but made decisions that have actively harmed the livelihoods of each respective organization’s membership.

“In the case of the UTA, an understaffed paper tiger Commissioner’s office continues to fail at upholding the law. In terms of Unifor as well as the UTA, several items that were signed in the 2014 Joint Action Plan have yet to be fulfilled. And with the Vancouver Taxi Association (“VTA”), the BC government has opened up the market without any consideration or compensation for the hundreds of millions of investment that independent owners have at risk.”

The meeting came about as a result of continued empty promises without any action, according to Gagan Singh, spokesperson for the UTA.

“We have met with the government for several years, as have our fellow colleagues in the transportation sector, but no amount of information or cases of great suffering have convinced them to do anything,” said Singh. “We had over 800 people in the room that expressed interest in making their voices heard loudly during the coming election campaign, and the UTA intends to organize those efforts”

He added: “In spite of false media reports and BC government spin, the meeting had nothing to do with the truck parking announcement made last week, because pressing issues like ongoing rate cheating, bribery, and restricted tag movement are the priorities that the UTA is solely focused on.

“The announcement by the government are simply a way to deflect attention from these issues which are putting thousands of families across Metro Vancouver at great risk of financial ruin.

“Faced with ministers who choose to ignore or speak false statements publicly, the UTA is now going to focus on making an impact at the ballot box.

“The Vancouver Sun recently called the Surrey ridings a political battleground, and so I know that the numbers behind our organization, Unifor and the VTA, can make the difference between victory and defeat for a number of candidates. They may not listen to us in between elections, but they will feel our democratic power on May 9.”