Unifor is raising concerns about the purchase of 17 “Vicinity” buses from China by BC Transit, the body responsible for public transit outside Metro Vancouver. The $6-million public expense will create no jobs in Canada.
In 2013, documents obtained under Freedom of Information requests said that BC Transit had “quality concerns” about the same Chinese-made Vicinity buses from Grande West Transportation.
Unifor says that BC Transit’s fleet enhancement should have relied on models that are already in use in Metro Vancouver made by New Flyer Industries or Nova Bus. New Flyer employs more than 1,350 workers Winnipeg and Nova Bus employs more than 750 workers in Québec.
“It’s disgraceful when Canada has world-class transit vehicle manufacturers but the Premier would rather send that work and funding overseas,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s BC Area Director. “We can’t have a green economy without creating green jobs at home.”
The newest order from BC Transit adds to the May 2016 purchase of 41 Vicinity buses from China-based manufacturer Yangzhou Asiastar Bus Company in Yangzhou City.
“Grande West can claim to be a Canadian company all it wants, but it’s no secret that the manufacturing happens overseas,” said McGarrigle.