The CNIB issued a statement on Thursday (July 6) urging BC Transit to end the ongoing strike.
There are thousands of people with sight loss in the Fraser Valley being affected by the lack of public transit, the organization said. The strike has been going for more than three months, and mediator Vince Ready was brought in four weeks ago.
“At CNIB, we stand in solidarity with the Canadian Council of the Blind regarding the Fraser Valley transit service suspension that has been in effect for more than three months,” their statement read.
“While we understand the government of British Columbia has appointed a mediator, the ongoing labour dispute continues to impact the lives of thousands of community members with sight loss who rely on public transit to fully participate in the communities of Agassiz-Harrison, Central Fraser Valley, Chilliwack and Hope.”
The only public transit available right now in the service area is a limited HandyDart operation. A representative of BC Transit told Mission city council Tuesday they are hopeful to see an end to the strike as early as the end of the week.
Many organizations have spoken out about the strike on behalf of their members or clients. CNIB outlined how the ongoing lack of transit is having a detrimental effect on people.
“Without access to public transit, people who are blind or partially sighted often experience reduced independence, leading to higher rates of unemployment, limited recreational opportunities, and increased social isolation,” they said. “Whether it’s going grocery shopping, attending medical appointments, or connecting with family and friends, access to public transit is essential.”
“BC Transit has a responsibility to ensure riders have reliable transit services outside of Greater Vancouver. We are urging First Transit and CUPE Local 561 to reach a resolution as soon as possible – people’s lives are depending on it.”