Budget 2009 shows BC Liberals in holding pattern in lead-up to May provincial election

Todays budget tabled by the BC Liberal government makes it clear that the BC Liberals are in a holding pattern until the next provincial election, says Reid Johnson, president of the Health Sciences Association of BC. HSA represents more than 15,000 health science professionals who provide clinical, diagnostic and rehabilitation services in hospitals and community facilities.

-Finance minister Colin Hansen acknowledges that one of the key challenges facing our economy is a shortage of skilled workers to provide the services British Columbians depend on. This is especially true in health care ... but once again, there is limited foresight to address that challenge," Johnson said.

-Instead, what we see in the budget is recycled announcements about expanded training for health care professionals. Recycled announcements will not deal with the very real shortages of 1,000 health science professionals in our health care system," he said.

-Now is the time to invest in the human resources we need today and in the future," he added. Without the human resources to staff the health care system, wait lists cannot be addressed and patients cannot be treated.

-We needed to see some leadership in this provincial budget. Instead, we see the government holding its breath by presenting a budget full of posturing and recycled announcements. That doesnt address the anxiety about how British Columbians will weather this economic storm," Johnson said.