Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How We'll Make this "Our" Election in May 2009

A rant from comment's on Bill Tieleman's blog

There is a lot that we can do leading up to and at election time.

There is a BIG problem with the NDP. Namely, they don't even seem to know what the hell they stand for at this point. There are great and smart people and very hard working MLA's and others in the party. However, their executive leadership run their caucas not unlike the Liberals, inner circle Silverback bullies. It's old & tired and the world has changed. Get over it and transform, or your party is dead.

There really is no mistaking the swing of the NDP either. Here is an excellent video interview with John Shields and and Bryan Evans that discusses the neo-liberalism of the state and how the NDP have also lost their edge (and voter support) due to their swing to the neo-liberal side. As they state, the left has a fractured (and I would say poorly defined, or non-existent) agenda that fails to offer an alternative to the clear cut agenda and platform of the right (the Liberals). Unless of course the real objective is to lose the next election? Then this will be a successful strategy.

So, what to do? Here are some suggestions:

The leadership of the NDP wise up and stop muzzling the smartest and most effective among you. MLA's, speak up. I know there is pressure to stay quiet, voters will respect you more if you stand up and speak out on the crap going on.

Parties and Candidates: Start to define your platform & what your MLA's have done to earn their keep since they've been in. Tell the people what you stand for. They will not vote for you if you keep silent about why you offer an alternative. There is a provincial election in 9 months, where the hell are you all? A few organizers from the BC Fed & the unions are not going to win this election.

Campbell has no problem taking credit and getting photo ops all over the place. It's called "impression management" the left has to get better at it. Use the internet. There are brilliant multi-media artists on the left, start creating political art and sending it around BC.

The left has to start using the web more. If the mainstream media won't let you in, you can appeal to the populace through the Internet. Some blogs are literally read by thousands of people. And blogging is one way to get around Bill 42. Why don't the NDP MLA's have blogs? Newsletters are fine, but inadequate in this day & age. You aren't just fighting for your riding, you must fight for your whole party. And this goes triple for independents, and greens. An effective media campaign could make you a household name in your community.

For citizens: get involved in politics, fundraise, join a party, nominate someone who is a real leader. Which means they have an actual record of service and action on behalf of a broad base of constituents (ie. not just real estate developers, or business owners, corporations, or union buddies etc.).

Citizen journalists: blog away about your MLA's. Don't slander, or libel them, just give people a clear idea about where they've stood, how they've voted and what they've done, or not done to support _all_ of their constituents.

It is tiresome to continue reading about splitting the vote. One of the reasons we're in this mess is because of the partisan and polarized political climate (sorry for the alliteration). I don't care if you're an independent, a green, NDP, or Liberal. What voters _should_ care about most is whether the candidate in their riding has a history of service in the riding, a credible, history of ethical conduct and action. No more bloody career politicians. That's one of the reasons why it's become such a dishonourable profession.

Finally, we must get a more diverse of people interested in voting, young people, older people, people of colour, GLBT. People are uninterested in continuing to vote for rich, white middle aged men and the obedient and quiet women who are allowed in the door in both parties.

The left needs to get the word out and tell everyone the grocery list of how the Liberals have harmed us all, for generations to come. That's why we started our blog in the first place. Most citizens get their media from CanWest and they believe what they are told.

Let's call this the "Commonsense election." Because that's what this is. It's a return to politics "by the people, for the people." All I know is, if you have vermin in your house, you exterminate them because they are disease ridden and bring sickness to your home and your family. That's what we're doing, only on a bit of a different scale. And for all of those vermin who've been living off the spoils of our House, you are history in the next election, better get yourself some work lined up, because your name will be mud if you've done harm to the people.

Find out here how your MLA has voted on issues of importance to your riding and make sure your friends and neighbours get this information too:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Privatization of Welfare in BC

There are many in the Province who are well aware that the BC Liberals have been in the process of privatizing the income assistance system over the past 7 years in office. It has often been incremental and under the radar of most people.

When the citizens of BC look back in years to come to see where things went so horribly wrong, they will not have too hard a time figuring it out. They need solely to look at Gordon Campbell and his merry band of scalawags, pickpockets and scoundrels to see how we lost it all and why we are suffering so, some of us more than others.

The latest scandal in the making – the impending privatization of the welfare system (aka income assistance). Interesting to note that the BC government has NOT announced their new $17.9 million contract with Haley Ltd. a multi-national company that specializes in information technology that will “upgrade” and introduce a new integrated case management system to “modernize” the social welfare system. In case you weren’t sure, in the parlance of globalization, “modernize” is synonymous with privatize.

Those working in the system have known for several years now (7 to be exact) that they were being phased out and slowly the system was being sliced, diced and privatized. Through the Machiavellian “evolution” of “alternative service delivery” the system shifted from the mandate of providing income assistance to those who need it, to routinely denying people access to basic human rights. As we all know, the sky high and rapid increase in homeless citizens has reached epic proportions in BC, with estimates that there are approximately 20,000 people in BC homeless. This includes children, youth, families, the mentally ill, addicted, the disabled, seniors and many others. And, amidst the “economic boom” and highflying spin of 2010, BC leads the country in child poverty for the 5th year in a row! This is directly related to Gordon Campbell and his government’s policy shifts and systemic changes and it hurts us all. Wait until we get the bill for the Olympics.

Make no mistake, this government hasn’t been interested in “welfare reform,” in increasing accountability, improving the service delivery system, or “modernization.” This is simply yet one more pathway to lining someone’s pockets (the money never stays in BC) and tying BC to a multi-national corporation that will do whatever the hell they want with “our” people, their personal and private information and their lives.

It hasn’t been enough to exclude and introduce so many barriers to accessing income assistance that about 75% of homeless respondents identify that as the number one reason they are homeless, now, the BC Liberals are looking to find ways to exclude even more people.

In the Ministry of Employment & Income Assistance (MEIA) they did away with caseloads, where some of the most marginalized, disabled and vulnerable people in society now have to navigate automated phone trees to talk to someone, none of whom know anything about their situation. Imagine what that is like, if you have a mental illness, are disabled, or are an abused wife and mother fleeing a violent husband. Or a victimized refugee, or person who doesn’t speak English.

One should also relate the latest offense to the public interest, the (secret, closed door) Order in Council (OIC-, that changes the provincial policy of CLBC to enshrine the human rights violation of preventing developmentally disabled citizens from accessing support services if their IQ is over 70 within the larger context of this welfare privatization. With all of the changes and barriers that have been implemented, the homeless, the deaths, the BC Liberals have not been able to get "the numbers" on the "welfare rolls" down enough. They need to find other ways. These actions also flow directly out the Court of Appeal in the Fahlman case, that ruled that using IQ 70 as a determining factor in gatekeeping CLBC services is arbitrary and struck that down. This issue should be back in court, or the BC Human Rights Tribunal before anyone blinks an eye. This is clearly discrimination against the provision of services to people with disabilities and an arbitrary decision on how the Crown agency will mete out services. This includes health and employment. If you can't get CLBC services, you can't access their employment services as a PWD and possibly receive employment.

You know all those developmentally disabled children, youth and their families thay have not received any services from CLBC, while the top 5 senior executives made $900,000 in compensation, including incentive bonuses - that's all part of this too. If you don't keep a waitlist for services you have no record of citizens who meet the criteria for service. No paper trail and a "clean" slate so when the adults only hope of getting income assistance and the pittance more for disability is privatized. And, once the welfare kiosks are set up in the mall, I'm sure they will be rather challenging for many citizens to manage, the disabled, amongst those. And, if this wasn't all enough, instead of actually funding services to needy individuals and families, the BC government & CLBC are jointly funding employment programs to disabled folks to move them out of educational programs and into employment. Not a bad idea of course, however, when people's basic human rights and needs aren't even being met, the spending of public funds in this way is unconscionable.

Cynically, one might surmise that a move toward even more technology and less human contact will help get the numbers down even more. No more of those human vagaries to deal with, those hardworking and caring people in the welfare offices who creatively find ways and solutions to help people get income assistance and stay on it. Once the welfare kiosks are set up in the malls, or wherever they put them, there won’t be anymore need for the human factor that is sometimes the only thing standing between life and death. Citizens will simply have to fill in the appropriate box and they either qualify, or they don’t. Hmmm, wonder how many will now be excluded and what will happen to them?

Haley counts the following as among its’ strategic partners: Oracle, SAP, IBM, Microsoft and Lagan. And you’ll have to excuse our apprehension and even fear about the fact that a multi-national corporation, allied with a number of other powerful transnational corporations, now based in Washington, DC will have unrestricted access to the most confidential and private information about every citizen in BC. Most citizens do not know that the BC government database contains virtually every single citizen’s name and highly confidential information about them, whether they’ve been on welfare or not. Your date of birth, social insurance number, medical number, refugee status, whether you’ve had a child protection file, how long that was open, and everyone attached to you as family member.

The immensity of the prospect that all of our private data will be flowing into the United States may be overlooked, or unknown to most of us (that which hasn’t already gone there). As one of those of a growing contingent worried about the increasing speed at which our civil liberties, privacy and sovereignty as a nation are eroding this is a truly frightening new development that impacts our entire province and every single citizen. This isn’t simply about our welfare system being privatized, I would go one step further and say this privatization scheme is rapidly moving “us” all one step closer to the North American Union (NAU) and it certainly ties in with the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP).

This doesn’t sound like much of a stretch at all when we see that Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and Siebel Systems (also affiliated with the BC government) are all members of Infragard, the corporate infrastructure elite that works with the Department of Homeland Security “for the exchange of knowledge, experience and information related to the protection of our nation’s critical infrastructure from both physical and cyber threats.” One look at Infragard’s event calendar for the past three years and big questions come to mind about what kind of threat these folks are preparing so vigorously for and if things are so bad, why aren’t citizens of all nations being told?

The underground media is adamant that there is going to be a major event this fall and martial law will be declared before 2008 is over. I don’t know about that, but what I do know is that the US government, Canadian and BC governments are moving fast to outsource and privatize Canadian information, new laws and secret deals are being signed with transnational corporations, that are seeing our democratic rights and those of our neighbours’ are being flushed down the toilet faster than we possibly understand. Regime change is close at hand at the American election, at least that is the hope.

The implications are very, very clear. Once this contract starts rolling out, BC’s entire welfare system will be in the hands of a multi-national corporate entity that is based in the corridor of power, in Washington, DC. Ground zero for the Project for a New American Century, the leaders of which openly openly advocate for total global military and civil domination of all nations by an elite group that stands above all and owns all global resources and has ever global citizen at its’ mercy.

This is not some “wingnut” conspiracy theory, it’s happening as you read this. Look at the dramatic and unexplainable increase in oil, the devastation of the world’s food stock, the economic crisis in the United States and the global markets, which is much, much worse than the mainstream media are reporting. All of these dots connect and the picture they make is so frightening and bodes so poorly for all but those who own the resources and sit on top of their piles of money most of us will simply be swept under the wheels of the bus. Collateral damage in the plan for global domination.

It is time for all of us to take a stand here. Write to your MLA, to your MP and tell them you want answers about what the BC Liberals plans are for the income assistance system and for your personal and private information. Whether you've every been on welfare or not, the BC government holds vast records on most of us. Do you feel comfortable with this information flowing so freely across the border. We know we don't, because the Bush regime has made sure that under the Patriot Act, once your information is on American soil, they can do whether they want with it and you will never know. Ask yourself next time you are going to the States and your name is flagged and you are searched, or you are stopped from flying. How did they even get my name and why can't I fly?

British Columbia Taps Haley and Oracle to Modernize the Province's Social Welfare System
Significant North American Social Services Implementation of Oracle's Siebel Public Sector Client Relationship Management Suite of Products Will Use Haley Office Rules and Determinations Engine for Eligibility Processing and Benefits Delivery

Aid for mentally disabled adults cut if IQ over 70
'Interim' order quietly signed by premier, minister

Lindsay Kines, Times Colonist
Published: Thursday, July 24, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

Election Amendment Act (2008), aka the the BC Liberal’s Gag Law.

There are some good articles and discussion taking place with respect to the Election Amendment Act (2008), aka the the BC Liberal’s Gag Law.

They have enough savvy lawyers sucking up taxpayer dollars to know that this would not fly in a court of law, it’s totally unconstitutional.

However being good Canadians, most of us don’t like to actually purposefully break laws, well, I would perhaps qualify that and say
there are those amongst us, say in BC, who aren’t concerned about pesky little things like legislation or moral rightness, but most of us like to toe the line.

In any event, a group of seven of the large unions and the BC Federation of Labour are launching a court case challenging Bill 42 for trying to gag them with regard to advertising during the lead up to the election period.

What is not generally part of this discussion is the disenfranchising aspects of this draconian law. For most of us, presenting “government issued” identification and documents that contain our place of residence to the chief electoral officer at the time of voting is not a problem, nor an issue. But, it is a VERY BIG issue for
the thousands of BC citizens who are now homeless, as far as I’m aware they didn’t lose their right to be citizens of BC and Canada because they are homeless, apparently there was a memo amongst the BC Liberals that this was the case (joke). We should try to get that through an FOI request.

It is also a HUGE issue for those of our citizens who are recipients of income assistance and have had the further misfortune to lose their identification. It is standard operating policies of the income assistance division, which has been subsumed into the Ministry of Housing & Social Development (soon to be re-named the Ministry of Homelessness, Sorrow & Despair for anyone who has to deal with it, work in it or is involved in it’s pending privatization) that these already marginalized citizens will not be given funds to obtain ANY new identification if welfare already has copies on file. And if you’ve ever lost your wallet, as most of us have at some time (or had it stolen), you know how expensive it is to order it all again. It’s certainly beyond most poor people’s ability to afford. Maybe hapless and sure to be short-lived “leader” Rich “it wasn’t a conflict of interest” Coleman might want to show a little moral fibre and flex a muscle or two and ensure that all individuals on income assistance actually have ID in time for the election.

It’s funny, I think the United Nations and International media that will be here for 2010 might be interested in receiving a report about a government that not prevents poor and homeless people from voting, but also creates government policies that ensure that if the poor are lucky enough to even have homes, they won’t fund identification so they can participate in that little thing we like to call “democracy.” The fact that this has to even be discussed in Canada in 2008 is the truest example of the sheer contempt, arrogance and hostility the BC Liberals hold for the citizens of BC and for our most vulnerable and marginalized citizens. To legislate the disenfranchisement of an entire socio-economic class of citizens from participation in democracy illustrates that BC truly has sunk below banana republics the world over. Mugabe and his thugs may have committed lots of intimidation and other deplorable practices in their elections, but he never actually stooped so low as to legislatively prevent citizens from voting. Way to go BC Liberals!!! You’ve sunk us lower than Zimbabwe and a whole lot of other nations that the west likes to think of as “uncivilized.” Funny, some of those nations of the South have some lessons to teach all of us about democracy. And, for the likes of the Honourable Wally Oppal to be part of this tripe, need we say more about what that says about him, a former judge and a man who comes from a community that has had to fight for decades for the franchise. Your community and fellow judges must be proud.

Voting record on Bill 42

It seems pretty clear that THE essential question for those candidates who will run again in May 2009 while they are out campaigning, especially at all candidates meetings and community events, is what was their vote was on the Election Amendment Ac (Bill 42)? And if they voted “yea” then they are automatically disqualified from running, or EVER AGAIN setting foot in the Legislature, the “People’s House.” For some of the more namby-pamby who might disagree with that harsh assessment, think about this: if an MLA voted for this bill, they have failed the first test of politics. They have failed entirely at DEMOCRACY by pledging their support for an unconstitutional, disenfranchising and morally corrupt piece of legislation that has brought shame to the Province of BC at an international level. It’s really as simple as that. If after serving three years (or more for those who have served more terms) they don’t get the basics of Democracy, they have self-selected and taken themselves out of the political gene pool.

What those of us who care about this can do is ensure that our fellow citizens, family members etc. have access to the Voting Records of their MLA’s.
It is all on the Hansard and citizens should know whether MLA’s are voting against their interests. The records can be found right here.

Regime Change

Finally, let’s not be disheartened, it’s time for enthusiasm, excitement and regime change. We’ve got time and with the mad skillz of many of us bloggers, journalists and social justice activists, we can ensure the voting public (what is left of it) has ALL the information they need to know that Gordon Campbell and his merry band of MLA’s, his shallow gene pool of a Cabinet, his insiders, political operatives and corporate hacks have taken each and one of us for a ride, jacked our best resources and that if they get in again, there won’t be a damn thing left for any of our kids and their kids…

There is nothing in the new legislation that present us citizen journalists from “getting the word” out right up to the day of the election (see below).

We’re also facing the echo and impact of an American financial disaster that I suspect will make the Depression look like a cake walk compared to what will be happening to Campbell’s friends to the South. And don’t forget, Campbell and his brethren have privatized A LOT of our resources and services to American and transnational corporations that are about to take a beating they can’t possibly stop. People tend to blame sitting governments for financial disasters and everything else they’ve done which harms the interests of citizens, which many of us are documenting in technicolour detail, we’re in for an interesting lead up to the BC election 2009. No more negativity, We CAN and WILL take back “our House” in May 2009.

Bill 42

How Gag Law May Bite Its Makers
Election free speech without fines? Start your own BC party.

By Robert D. Holmes
Published: July 17, 2008

Identification issue

8 Section 41 (3) is repealed and the following substituted:
(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) (b), an applicant may produce to the election official
(a) one document, issued by the Government of British Columbia or Canada, that contains the applicant's name and photograph, and place of residence,
(b) one document, issued by the Government of Canada, that certifies that the applicant is registered as an Indian under the Indian Act (Canada), or
(c) at least 2 documents of a type authorized by the chief electoral officer, both of which contain the applicant's name and at least one of which contains the applicant's place of residence.
(3.1) The chief electoral officer must publish each year, in a manner that he or she considers appropriate, a notice setting out the types of documents that are authorized for the purposes of subsection (3) (c).

Election Advertising

59 Section 228 is amended by repealing the definition of "election advertising" and substituting the following:

"election advertising" means the transmission to the public by any means, during the period beginning 120 days before a campaign period and ending at the end of the campaign period, of an advertising message that promotes or opposes, directly or indirectly, a registered political party or the election of a candidate, including an advertising message that takes a position on an issue with which a registered political party or candidate is associated, but does not include
(a) the publication without charge of news, an editorial, an interview, a column, a letter, a debate, a speech or a commentary in a bona fide periodical publication or a radio or television program,
(b) the distribution of a book, or the promotion of the sale of a book, for no less than its commercial value, if the book was planned to be made available to the public regardless of whether there was to be an election,
(c) the transmission of a document directly by a person or a group to their members, employees or shareholders, or
(d) the transmission by an individual, on a non-commercial basis on the internet, or by telephone or text messaging, of his or her personal political views; .

Friday, July 18, 2008

Another Liberal Bites the Dust? Maybe Two?

Quite simply, Rich Coleman must resign from the BC Liberal Cabinet and from the BC government. There are no ifs, ands or buts about this. BC cannot afford to have Coleman having this level of responsibility over our resources and assets. He has terribly bungled every file he has been on, which costs the taxpayers of BC.

From Andrew MacLeod’s article in the Tyee:

'Growth Is Coming': Developer Floats Plan for Jordan River

“The land in question was managed for forestry under the Tree Farm Licence system until Forest Minister Rich Coleman allowed Western Forest Products Inc. to remove it in January 2007.

And another one:

Forest Minister's Brother High in Firm Granted Tree Farm Deal

“Forest and Range Minister Rich Coleman has said repeatedly that releasing 28,000 hectares of Western Forest Products Inc.'s private land from management under British Columbia's Tree Farm Licence system was done to help a company that was suffering financially.

While Coleman's decision has received much scrutiny in the media and Auditor General John Doyle is investigating, here's one detail that has so far been largely overlooked: Coleman's older brother Stan is Western Forest Products manager of strategic planning.

Stan Coleman joined WFP in May 2006, when the company acquired the short-lived Cascadia Forest Products Inc. Cascadia was created in 2005 when Weyerhaeuser sold its B.C. assets to Brascan, which later became Brookfield Asset Management Inc. Brookfield also now owns a majority interest in WFP.

The minister's brother worked for Weyerhaeuser in 2004 when the company benefited from another release of private land from management under TFLs. In that case, then forest minister Mike de Jong released the land against the recommendation of ministry staff.

Checking the Lobbyist Registry this is what we’ve come up with for WFP, nothing for
Ender Ilkay, the real estate developers who cashed in on the Jordan River land that was removed from from Crown land:

Gary Ley is registered as a lobbyist for the following companies, wonder how they made out with whatever they were lobbying the government for:

Western Forest Products (Forestry)– Start: 2007-JAN-01; End: 2007-DEC-31
TimberWest Forest Corp (Forestry)– – Start: 2002-SEP-01; End: 2003-DEC-31
647680 BC Ltd. (Mining) – Start: 2003-JUL-03; End: 2004-JUL-03
Lignum Ltd. (Forestry) – Start: 2003-JAN-09; End: 2004-DEC-31

Weyerhauser has had quite a few different lobbyists over the years.


BC Liberal MLA Pat Bell, current Minister of Forests should go too.

“Bell followed up by slamming Doyle in a media scrum, calling the report unprofessional and lacking in integrity.”

To attack the Auditor General and his report in this way is so appalling and such a demonstration of unprofessional viciousness that he should no longer be allowed to “represent” the public’s interest anymore. We would be embarrassed if he was our MLA.

But, one thing Bell’s attack demonstrates to taxpayers: you know how when you have to deal with the public service and things don’t make sense, or you experience rude managers etc. That is just a brief taste of what it is like to work in the public service, because people like Bell and Coleman are your boss and set the tone for everything that happens and who gets promoted and it’s one of the reasons people are leaving in droves.
Talk about a lack of integrity.

“Auditor general John Doyle says in his years of performing accountability audits, he has "never, ever seen anything" like Forests Minister Pat Bell's outburst Wednesday over his forest-land report.”

Before accepting the job, Doyle was assured he would have independence and support from both sides of the house and he does not expect recent tensions to affect that."I will continue to operate in a fearless way," he said.

Pat Bell was appointed Minister of Agriculture and Lands on June 16, 2005. He previously served as Minister of State for Mining (January 26, 2004 - June 18, 2005).

Also a special investigator should be assigned to investigate whether Coleman, any of his employees or any employees of Western Forest Product received any little “envelopes of encouragement” to remove the Crown land and then hand it over to real estate developers. You cannot even hope to convince us there is no money trail somewhere and we’re willing to bet that there are people out there who know where that trail is.

From Coleman’s biography:

Before his election to the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Coleman ran a real estate management and consulting company. He is also a former member of the RCMP and a security specialist.
From 2001 to 2005 he served as Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
(This would be the Coleman who tried to stop an inquiry into Frank Paul’s death so the spectre of racism toward Aboriginal citizens wouldn’t be raised about his beloved police forces?)
Rich Coleman was appointed Minister of Forests and Range and Minister Responsible for Housing on June 16, 2005. As the Forest Minister, he was integral to the negotiations of the Softwood Lumber deal, established the Coast Action Plan and has brought quicker, more practical decision making processes.

One might also wonder whether Mr. Bell’s history and involvement as the owner of logging company and any real estate deals, or Tree Farm Licenses his company has been awarded might also be scrutinized? His reaction is best described as “the best defense is an offense.”

We cannot have Coleman in cabinet anymore, especially on such an important file.
And quite frankly, maybe there needs to be some scrutiny into all of these buildings the BC government has been buying under his leadership. It becomes more and more clear, many members of the Liberals and some of their inner circle gang don’t get up the morning within being paid for the pleasure on our dime. We think the public deserves to know much more about that and I think John Doyle, our credible new Auditor General is the one to help us find some of this out. The rest is for the police. And the folks from Division “E” better know the public is watching your conduct. You’re in up to your necks in the BC Rail/Raid on the Legislature and more and more of us are getting it. And you aren’t immune to accountability either.


We also came across this today too, we have to agree and think the public deserves to know the full details of the compensation packages and incentives Mr. Coleman, Mr. Bell and their senior underlings get from the taxpayers.

BC Association of Social Workers
July 18, 2008

BC government rewards public service executives’ ‘performance’ – while children and families languish on waitlists. Is this how our $2.9 billion surplus should be spent?

The BC Association of Social Workers commends the provincial government for moving toward more transparency and openness with the full disclosure of the detailed compensation packages afforded to senior executives in the BC government, health authorities, education sector, Crown corporations and agencies.

We see that the combined salaries of the five executives of Community Living BC (CLBC) surpassed $900,000 in 2007/08. We note with alarm that four out of five senior executives received incentive bonuses. We would like to know exactly what work these executives have done to earn these “incentives” in light of the serious and chronic crisis in service provision that confronts children, youth and families dealing with developmental challenges, an issue that has been well documented in the media and by community living and child welfare communities. We believe it is in the public’s interest and those of the thousands of children, youth and families who have been refused services by CLBC to publicly report on what they have done to earn these incentives, since they are tied to performance of these executives.

Further to this, we consider it highly inappropriate for senior executives in the social service sector and direct government to be rewarded with bonuses when this money would be much better utilized in funding adequate staffing levels of social workers and other frontline workers who provide crucial services to the public.

We now call on the BC government to continue their commitment to transparency, accountability and openness by disclosing the complete and detailed compensation packages offered to BC government Cabinet Ministers, Assistant Deputy Ministers and top senior executives in each Ministry. We look forward to learning what compensation our elected leaders and senior executives in the BC government make in the course of their service to the public and citizens of British Columbia.

Since the BC government has a healthy budget surplus of $2.5 billion, we respectfully suggest that the Province use some of these funds to provide housing to the thousands of individuals who have found themselves homeless and disqualified from accessing income assistance over the past seven years. They should also immediately provide additional funding to BC’s child welfare system so that it will not continue to experience the kind of severe crisis it has over the same period of time.

BC leads the country in child poverty for the fifth year in a row. With a surplus of that magnitude, the BC government can immediately improve the lives and wellbeing of BC's children, youth and families. If we have the money to pay high salaries and perks for senior executives of the public sector, shouldn't we have the money for our children? A society and a government's commitment to caring for its most vulnerable citizens is the strongest indicator of who is valued and who is not. The BCASW believes that all individuals and families, and all social service professional and community sector workers are of value and deserve much better treatment from government.