Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The BC Liberals Don't Care About BC's Children, Youth and Families

Does the BC Liberal government really care about the
individuals and families in B.C.
If you look at all the
devastatingly comprehensive attacks (oops policy shifts
and service re-designs) they have provoked on citizens
around the Province, it becomes quite clear that the BC
Liberals in fact have great contempt, disrespect and disdain
for individuals and families.

Lets start with marginalized individuals. The Campbell
government clearly hates all those damn welfare
scammers and cheaters. And clearly, the citizens of BC
believe the propaganda the Liberal spin machine puts
out there about individuals on welfare. In a stunning
display of malice, contempt and incompetence, the
BC Liberals, as managers of BC's money, managed to
spend $5 million dollars to review everyone in B.C.
who had a disability designation must have patted
themselves on the back when they cut those 46 people
off of disability. Their mother’s must be proud.
Hey, their mother’s could have been some of those
kicked off disability. Middle aged disabled women were
kicked off and told to go find jobs.

This review meant that people had to somehow fill out a 23 page
form, having other professionals give them the rubber stamp of
disability(and we all know how doctors & such like to fill out
forms). These are people, who have difficulties with things like
daily life, physical health, literacy, addictions, mental health,
ESL, cognitive and intellectual disabilities and need the monthly
princely sum to keep a roof over their head.

The bottom line for any government is that it is a fact that there
will be a small percentage of people who are not employable,
no matter what and for many, many reasons. As a just and caring
society, which I think most Canadians see ourselves as, we need
to take care of these people, we need a social safety net.
“There for the grace of God (and family) there go I.”
Under the BC Liberals, youth and adult homelessness has
exploded. In Vancouver, 75% of homeless people report that
they can no longer access income assistance. Prior to the
Campbell government cuts this percentage was 25%.

We need to take care of people, as many citizens may now be
experiencing, the street lifestyle is not pretty. And it is not easily
contained. People are living in the parks in our communities.
Parks workers report needles, condoms and crime. Have you
noticed more people on the street in your community, more
drug activity, more prostitution, more panhandling, more
desperation? In part, these are people who are trying to
survive in the only way they know how, under a government
that is too foolish and ignorant to see the individual and
community risk management that exists in providing people
with decent income assistance, opportunities, inclusion and
participation in society.

There are those who can use help, such as employment training
programs, special training allowances, which enable them to get
the equipment they need to get jobs. Oops, those have been cut
and contracted out, treating people like driftwood.

The Liberals again in their stupidity and short-sightedness have
also cut apprenticeship and training programs that actually helped
people get jobs. And they made sure that only their rich buddies
and international students can afford our universities, so kids
born and raised in BC have seen tuitions sky-rocket because the
BC Liberals put no limits on what universities could ask students
and their parents to pay for an education in BC.

It’s like some drunk is at the wheel coming up with these
contradictory policies, oops I guess that is true in the technical
sense. (hahaha). How do these actions help families? How do they
ensure we will have adequately trained and specialized people to
work in the trades, industry, in health care, social services, or
anything other than part-time, service sector jobs?

First Call Everyone Counts Poster #2 – Welfare:

“The 20 per cent of Canadian families with the lowest
incomes have virtually no wealth, while the highest-income
10 per cent have almost half of all the nation's wealth”
according to a recent report released by Statistics Canada
and reported in the Vancouver Sun (B.C. has biggest gap
in wealth, Eric Beauchesne, Canwest News Service,
September 30, 2004)

“The gap in mean wealth between those in the top and
bottom 10 per cent of families was greatest in B.C. at
$1.6 million, with the bottom 10 per cent owing more
than they owned, leaving them with a negative wealth”.

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities. Who Benefits?
Disability benefits are failing British Columbians.

British Columbia Public Interest Advocacy Centre (BCPIAC)
March 10, 2005). Ombudsman to Investigate Complaints
by Anti-poverty groups about Ministry of Human Resources.

British Columbia Public Interest Advocacy Centre (BCPIAC)
(February, 2005). An Overview of EXPOSING THE BARRIERS:
Administrative Unfairness at the Ministry of Human Resources
Community groups complaint to the Ombudsman of British Columbia

February 01, 2004). School Board Joins “No Cuts
to Kids Campaign”: COPE Trustees Work to Stop
$3-Million Cut to Inner City Schools.

G. Brodsky, M. Buckley, S. Day, & M. Young, (April 28, 2005).
Human Rights Denied: Single Mothers on Social
in British Columbia. The Poverty and Human
Rights Centre.

Noel Herron, (
April 26, 2005). Note from School:
Brace for More ‘Yo Yo Spending’: BC Liberals plan
deep cutbacks after the election. School boards expect
to be back in the red.

Bill Pikett, (February 25, 2004).
The magic of New Era
management: $5 million spent to cut 46 people off
Have You Had Enough Yet.

Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia

, (December, 2002). Falling Further Behind:
A Comparison of Living Costs and Employment
and Assistance Rates in BC.

Tenants Rights Action Coalition
papers and research.

Cuts to legal aid hurt tenants.

(March 13, 2002). Liberals cancel 1,000 units of affordable housing while waitlists grow.

(August 1, 2002). Pay the rent or feed the kids.
(June 5, 2002). Welfare cuts will increase
homeless numbers.

Vancouver City Hall, (October, 2004).
Homeless Action Plan.

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