CUPE backs Pitt Meadows & Maple Ridge civic candidates

John Becker, Dave Murray,Gladys Hewson, Carly O'Rouke for council, Ken Clarkson and Susan Carr for school board

The union representing more than 85,000 public sector workers in B.C. is throwing its support behind John Becker, who is seeking to become Pitt Meadows’ next mayor.

On Thursday, CUPE B.C. officially announced its endorsement for Becker and council candidate Dave Murray, as well as four other candidates from Maple Ridge.

Murray is secretary treasurer for the Fraser Valley Labour Council, based in Abbotsford, as well as for CUPE B.C. Fraser Valley district.

“Becker was endorsed because of his willingness to engage in a conversation and dialogue with CUPE,” said Murray.

Becker attended a roundtable discussion, went through an interview process and answered questions from a panel of labour leaders, including CUPE 703, the CUPE Tri-City Coalition, and the CUPE Fraser Valley District Council

The same panel also interviewed Carly O’Rourke, who is running for Maple Ridge council.

Murray said the panel liked her responses to the questions about urban sprawl and her concern for the environment.

Gladys Hewson, the second Maple Ridge candidate endorsed by CUPE, works for Local 703.

Murray said she has great ideas and a great social conscience and has been a long-time volunteer with the Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey Association.

The endorsement for Becker by the union that represents city workers doesn’t worry his opponent, fellow city Coun. Deb Walters.

“I’ve had different locals and unions phone me up and I’m grateful, but my job is to represent the people of this community, if elected,” she said.

“I am not going to waver off that or go down that mud-slinging road or anything else.”

Becker also got officially endorsements from former Pitt Meadows mayor Bud Tiedeman and current mayor Don MacLean, who has been at the city’s helm for the past 12 years.

“I have a vested interest in the competence of my successor and the advancement of our beloved city,” said MacLean.

CUPE also endorsed Ken Clarkson and Susan Carr who are seeking seats on the school board in Maple Ridge.