B.C. paramedics have just over a week to finish gathering enough signatures to petition the province to consider them an essential service like fire and police.
Organizer Josh Henshaw says the biggest challenge to getting the 316,000 signatures needed by Apr. 10 is getting signatures at big cities.
He says members there are too overworked and burnt-out to campaign for signatures.
“All of us in the urban areas we’re getting phoned almost daily on our days off to come in and do overtime shifts and that’s really why we’re trying to get better bargaining rights so we can address things like that, but it’s definitely held us back in the urban areas for getting signatures.”
Henshaw says they’ve got the signatures they need in 15 of B.C.’s 85 electoral districts.
“Perhaps there’s an opportunity to reach outside of the paramedic community to get canvassers who aren’t overworked and dead tired.”
They need 10 per cent of registered voters in each region.
He’s hoping people will make the effort to find a petition to sign before the deadline.