The following is an excellent Op-Ed published couple weeks ago in the Victoria Times Colonist. Sadly the 2010 Provincial budget presented March 3 promises exactly the sort of short-sighted, "penny wise, pound foolish" cuts that Ms Charlesworth warned against.
Cutting social services won't pay benefits
Slashing government programs will push up health-care costs
By Jennifer Charlesworth, Special to Times Colonist
February 17, 2010
An economist with one of Canada's big banks commented to media last month that health-care spending is the budgetary equivalent of Pac-Man, "eating everything else in people's budgets."
In B.C., health-care spending has risen almost 50 per cent in the last eight years and accounts for more than 40 per cent of all provincial expenditures. In Canada, the $128 billion a year spent on health care consumes 12 per cent of the national GDP.
Is that simply the price we have to pay for good health?
In a word, no. For many years, researchers have studied the factors in a person's life that determine good health. They concluded long ago that a good health-care system is by no means the only requirement -- in fact, it's just a quarter of the story. Read more
MOMs marks Children’s Day, 20th year of UN Convention, with petition urging BC Premier to honour promises to kids
NOV. 19, 2009:—This Friday, Nov. 20 marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child – a date that is also celebrated annually in Canada and elsewhere as universal Children’s Day.
The MOMs provincial family support network, which has staged a series of actions in recent weeks to draw attention to BC families’ concerns about new cuts and ongoing gaps in critical services for children at risk, is marking the occasion by officially launching an online petition urging BC’s Premier to start living up to commitments made to BC’s vulnerable children.
Leaked MCFD documents obtained today by MOMS describe a process that has been underway since August 2009 to achieve "baseline funding reductions" for contracted agencies that deliver most of the Ministry's front-line services and supports - with a focus on cuts to community-based intervention and early intervention.
The "North Region STOB 80 Reduction Planning Process and Principals" (sic) document refers to a process for "cost recovery" for the current year and outlines planning, roles, principles and provincial direction guiding a second process that is also now underway to determine further reductions for 2010-11 in order to meet Ministry budget targets.
Below is an updated list of media reports on the October 28 day of action and the continuing campaign against cuts to programs for children with special needs.
24 Hours/The Tyee: Media...ignore cuts to vulnerable children
Langley Times: Parents keep up pressure over autism funding
Abbotsford News: Moms protest on autism issue
Georgia Straight: Mothers of special needs kids to protest program cuts across BC
Invermere Valley Echo: Moms speak out against cuts
Kamloops this Week: Honk for autism funding
Kelowna.com: Kelowna moms protest government cuts
Kelowna News: Protesters march on MLA's office
Everything you need to participate or check out MOMs actions around the province on October 28. The more groups and people who join us, the stronger message we send to Victoria, so please contact us at MomsOnTheMove@telus.net if you wish to add another location or join one listed below!
If you can't make it in person, you can still participate by emailing a letter to Premier Campbell urging him to honour his promises to BC's children. Or call your MLA on Wednesday to express your support.
Tell the BC government that investing in children is a top priority . (Deadline for 2010 Budget input: Oct. 23)
(Please distribute widely, with apologies for cross-postings!)
Vancouver, October 13, 2009
Premier Campbell's forgotten promise:
BC government's 2006 - 2009 Strategic Plan: 5 Great Goals for the Golden Decade:
Goal #3: 'Build the best system of support in Canada for persons with disabilities, those with special needs, children at risk, and seniors.'
Three years later, the BC government has forgotten all about about Great Goal #3. We've seen no improvements in supports for children and youth with special needs. Existing systems are being dismantled and services cut, with no effort to resolve long-standing service gaps:
- Intensive intervention programs for autism axed, despite overwhelming need & evidence these programs work well & expert advice that direct funding is not an effective alternative for many.
- Parents who effectively manage autism funding forced to switch to Ministry-administered payments. This will create new problems, including delays and higher costs
- Provincial offices that provide direct services including oversight, coordination, training and standards for community Infant Development Programs and Aboriginal IDPs to be axed.
- Axing of the provincial Supported Child Care office, which was recently created to resolve problems from the lack of oversight, coordination, training & consistency in local SCC programs.
- URGENT NOTE: A month's notice won't allow SCC staff to properly transfer roles. Pls. urge govt to at least extend these roles to March 2010 to permit an orderly transition.