VANCOUVER, Sept. 20, 2012 /CNW/ - The B.C. Liberal government's
cancellation of the fall legislative session represents a failure to be
accountable to the population of B.C. and another failure to address
the crisis B.C.'s beleaguered Community Living sector, says the B.C.
Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU).
"In January, the government admitted that the public's trust in the
community living system had been broken. By failing to convene a fall
session of the legislature, the government is not being accountable to
British Columbians. They are also breaking another promise to improve
oversight of Community Living B.C. They are failing to extend the
mandate of the representative for children and youth," says BCGEU
President Darryl Walker.
On January 19 last, the government announced a series of measures to
improve CLBC services, including extending the mandate for the B.C.
representative for children and youth. Turpel Lafond's mandate would
include overseeing youth with disabilities transitioning from Ministry
of Children and Families to adult services under CLBC. This mandate
extension requires legislative assent, which had not been granted by
the end of the spring legislative session.
BCGEU supports the mandate extension but maintains that an independent
advocate is needed for all adults with developmental disabilities, not
"There continues to be too many hollow or broken promises about
reforming Community Living B.C.," says BCGEU Component Chair Doug
Kinna, who represents CLBC workers. "Staff are still facing chronic
underfunding for adequate services and we have serious concerns about
executive and fiscal management."
CLBC Executive bonuses tied to cost-cutting targets were cancelled by
government until media discovered that that the bonuses were paid out
and subsequently rolled into base wages for senior CLBC executives;
The $40 million in funding announced in January actually amounted to $18
million in annualized investment in CLBC - and half of that amount had
been previously announced in September 2011. This new funding does not
begin to redress the outstanding service requests due to cuts for
existing services. Stakeholders believe $70 million is needed to meet
the anticipated demand for services and supports for youth
transitioning to adult care in the next two years alone
Constant governance changes continue to inhibit serious reforms of CLBC.
Following the September 5 cabinet reshuffle, there have been five
Ministers for Social Development in the past two years.
SOURCE: B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union
For further information:
Media enquiries: Oliver Rohlfs, BCGEU Communications (778) 318-9164