Councillors unanimously endorse resolution calling on Campbell Liberals to restore and maintain funding for community social services Victoria council denounces Liberal cuts to programs and services for vulnerable people

Victoria council unanimously passed a resolution last night denouncing cuts to programs and services for vulnerable people and calling on the Campbell Liberals to halt plans to cut another $70 million in funding on top of the $100 million the government has already cut to date.

The resolution also calls on the government to restore funding for community social services to pre-2001 levels.

Jennifer Johnson, a Victoria community social services worker, described for council the devastating impact the funding cuts have had on the communitys most vulnerable residents, including women, children, and people with disabilities.

-For children and adults with developmental disabilities, its meant fewer programs such as community outings and skills development. Its also caused understaffing of group homes which are vital to enabling adults with disabilities to live with dignity and independence in their own community," Johnson said.

-For women, the cuts have either reduced or eliminated critical services, including stopping violence and sexual assault response. At the end of March, 37 womens centres around the province will close.

-Young people have fewer life skills programs like anger management and job hunting, even how to go grocery shopping and maintain good hygiene. There is less money for suicide prevention and crisis centres, and 24-hour hotlines for teenagers in distress.

-These kind of cuts are putting pressure on services in every community in British Columbia, and they are happening without community consultation and without any regard for the thousands of people who are being affected," Johnson said.

Council members expressed concern over the increase in violence and domestic disputes in the province, saying it was nothing to be proud of.

Victoria joins a growing list of councils that have passed the resolution. To date, 22 councils have supported the resolution that is being presented by workers as part of the Union Bargaining Associations campaign to protect services for B.C.s most vulnerable citizens. The resolution is attached.

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Contact: Carol Adams, (604) 291-9611


Resolution on community social services funding

Whereas community social services are vital to the health and well-being of thousands of British Columbians, especially women, people with disabilities, children and families in need, and the most vulnerable people in our society; and

Whereas these critical services are dependent on adequate funding by the provincial government; and

Whereas the provincial government has already cut $100 million from the community social services sector since 2001, and plans to cut at least $70 million more before March 31 of this year; and

Whereas these cuts are having a devastating impact on families and communities;

Therefore be it resolved council send a letter to the B.C. government calling on Premier Gordon Campbell, Finance Minister Gary Collins, and Minister of Children and Family Development Christy Clark to put on hold any further cuts to community social service funding in the upcoming 2004/2005 budget, and to make every effort to restore program funding to the pre-2001 level.


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