Councillors unanimously endorse resolutioncalling on Campbell Liberals to restore andmaintain funding for community social services

Burnaby council denounces Liberal cuts to programs and services for vulnerable people

Burnaby City 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.

Cherrill Colley, a Burnaby 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.

-Group homes that have been in existence for years and have provided a stable environment for the individuals that dearly need such stability are being split up to save dollars," Colley told council. -Staffing levels are being decreased, which increases the risks to both residents and staff. All of this seriously sets back the work being done at these homes assisting developmentally disabled members of the community to become more self-sufficient and lead their lives with dignity and respect.

-Womens centres will lose 100 percent of the provincial funding as of April 1 and will face the prospect of either cutting their programs to the minimum or closing their doors altogether.

-There is a reduction in funding for suicide prevention, crisis centres and 24-hour hotlines for people in distress, all with serious ramifications to the health and well-being of our citizens. Programs supporting new immigrant families to our city have been reduced, leaving many with nowhere to turn in times of confusion and anxiety," Colley said.

Several council members spoke in favour of the resolution. -It may be true there is not enough money, but the crisis was manufactured by the government. The people who needed support had support systems in place, but with the cuts, that is now gone," said Councillor Sav Dhaliwal.

Burnaby joins a growing list of councils that have passed the resolution. To date, 27 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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