VANCOUVER, Feb. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - The provincial budget delivered today
by Finance Minister Kevin Falcon continues the dismantling of public
services begun by Gordon Campbell in 2001.
The budget shows the Clark government wants to eliminate another 2,000
public service jobs over the next three years. Over the seven years
between 2008 and 2015 public sector employment will have been reduced
by 18 percent.
"British Columbia already has the leanest provincial public sector in
Canada. But this government continues to slash," says Darryl Walker,
president of the BCGEU.
As B.C.'s population continues to grow many ministries are seeing their
budgets frozen, reduced or only slightly increased. Factor in inflation
and many ministries are seeing substantial cuts to their funding.
"Important public services are already in crisis. Our seniors are being
neglected, developmentally disabled adults and their families are being
ignored, our courts and prisons are buckling under backlogs and
overcrowding, and our parks system is chronically underfunded. There is
nothing in today's budget to make meaningful improvements to our public
services and they will continue to deteriorate," says Walker.
The BCGEU was shocked to learn today that the government plans to sell
its Liquor Distribution warehouse and service to the private sector and
is calling on the government to clarify its intentions. Today's budget
mistakenly states government has "recently announced" the planned sale
although no announcement has been made.
"Today's budget is going to further undermine important public services
that people rely on, eliminate thousands of good jobs, and will drive
up B.C.'s unemployment rate which is already the highest in western
Canada," says Walker. "This province needs an economic vision that
provides opportunities for our young people, services for families and
seniors, and that begins to close the widening income gap we see
everyday. This budget does none of these things."
SOURCE B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union
For further information:
Evan Stewart, Communications Officer (604) 220-3095.