Reactions to BC Budget 2012


Media Release – BC Budget 2012 = No good news for families with young children

Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC
February 22, 2012

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What’s your opinion of the provincial government’s priorities in the budget released Tuesday by B.C. Finance Minister Kevin Falcon?
Province E Street
Feb 26, 2012

Terrible news for working parents. Paying more for MSP and no investment in early care & learning. If there is any mention of child care/early learning in the speech, or anything that would actually make a positive difference for children and families, I have missed it.
- Sharon Gregson, East Vancouver

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‘$100 million in cuts to public schools next year alone,’ says BCTF president
CBC News
Feb 21, 2012

Read online

With funding for school districts virtually frozen over the next three years, the B.C. Teachers’ Federation says inflation and downloaded costs will place pressure on school boards.

“This means $100 million in cuts to public schools next year alone,” said BCTF president Susan Lambert, noting $130 million would be needed just to keep up with inflation.

“A whole generation of students have grown up going to school in larger classes without adequate support … Now we’re looking at another three years of ongoing cuts and increasing demands on teachers to fill the gaps and meet students’ needs.”

‘Built on thin air’

Teresa Rezansoff, B.C. School Trustees’ Association said the budget amounts to a cut for K-12 education. “We asked for increased investment in public education but for us to throw up our hands and say we’re not going to work hard with what we’ve got to make sure the outcomes for our students are the best they’ll be –that is our job and that’s what we’re doing.”

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First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition disappointed with BC’s new budget

People looking for investments in BC’s children and youth were sorely disappointed with BC’s new budget released on February 21st. First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition was looking for the budget to recognize the importance of supporting families raising children, particularly those who are struggling to get by on a low income. The Coalition was also hoping that the budget would address some of the urgent issues affecting the lives of the most vulnerable child and youth populations, and to tackle BC’s growing inequality.

Some highlights of First Call’s concerns about the budget include:

  • The continued neglect of the need for additional funding for the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) to reduce the caseloads of child protection social workers and adequately support children in the foster care system. A flat-lined budget and rising costs means this ministry will have to make cuts.
  • No progress on solving the child care crisis affecting families with young children. No relief from high fees, insufficient spaces and low wages for child care workers. No plans for increasing access to quality early childhood care and learning for preschoolers. Alarmingly, in the Ministry of Education service plan, government’s target for the percentage of children who enter kindergarten developmentally ready to learn has been lowered from the previous 85% by 2015 to 75% by that date. Current data shows we are only at 70%, meaning almost 1 in 3 BC children enter school developmentally vulnerable.
  • The increase in regressive taxes like MSP premiums will hit modest income working families hardest.
  • Children in families facing hunger and housing insecurity due to already inadequate income assistance rates will be hungrier and in greater danger of becoming homeless as the cost of food and housing continues to rise while rates are frozen.
  • The cumulative funding deficit in public education continues to grow with this budget, depriving students with extra challenges of the supports they need while school boards struggle to decide what to cut even to pay their share of the MSP premium increases.

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CCPA

Iglika Ivanova — The false economy of BC Budget 2012: deficit exaggerated to avoid spending on real problems
February 21, 2012

http://www.policynote.ca/bc-budget/

The overarching theme of Budget 2012 was fiscal prudence. In choosing to aggressively pursue a balanced budget in 2013/14, the government decided not to tackle the serious social issues that BC families face: abject poverty and homelessness, growing income inequality and increasingly poor job quality.

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BC Federation of Labour: Budget Squeezes More Out of Average Families While Economic Elite Come Out Further and Further Ahead
February 22, 2012

Vancouver, BC – The BC Federation of Labour called today’s budget a wrong-headed continuation of the policies that have put more money in the pockets of the richest British Columbians and BC Liberal insiders at the expense of working and middle class families.

“Working people in British Columbia are having a tougher and tougher time making ends meet because of the policies of this government,” said Sinclair.  “The 2012 budget, again, puts more money in the pockets of BC’s corporate elite while asking average working people to suck up wage cuts and fee increases.  This budget reflects BC Liberal policy to reward the one percent at the expense of the 99 percent.”  …

http://bcfed.ca/node/2187

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B.C. budget: ‘No one is immune,’ says Falcon in introducing tight budget
The Province
February 21, 2012
By Cassidy Olivier

…..Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, B.C.’s representative for children and youth called it a grim budget for families.

“This will hurt people who are poor or vulnerable,” she said. “There’s been a real abandonment of the premier’s families-first agenda. It’s a very harsh and punishing budget.”…