BC Labour Heritage Centre Solidarity Collection
Budget measures that included cuts to schools, health care, family support and disability services meant that few British Columbians were unaffected.
Stop the attack on Health, Education and Social Services
ATTACK ON HEALTH CARE A THREAT TO EVERYONE
We all face the possibility of requiring hospital treatment or other health care services. Budget cutbacks mean even more overcrowding. Cuts in home care services mean longer hospital stays with beds occupied by people who could be treated at home.
Increases in the daily charge for a hospital bed to $8.50 will be a hardship for many. Increases in emergency charges to $10 will also hurt. New daily fees for wheelchairs will be a heavy burden on some long-term care patients.
Worst of all, changes in medicare can mean different levels of medical service depending on your ability to pay. The new legislation also means that the Government can deny certain services recommended by your doctor and can demand access to your patient file.
All of these changes threaten the quality of health care available in British Columbia. Together these changes mean that your ability to pay will determine the kind of health care you get. That violates the principle of universal medicare.
CAN YOUR CHILDREN AFFORD A SECOND-RATE EDUCATION?
The Budget and the legislation the Social Credit Government is trying to pass mean that your children could end up with a second-rate education. Within three years, while enrolments are growing, School Boards will have to eliminate a total of 3,000 teaching positions, meaning larger classes and less chance to help students with particular problems.
Cuts in funding for universities, colleges and technical institutes means that young people will be prevented from getting the education or technical training they need to compete in today’s world. To make it worse, cuts of $10 million in student grants and loans mean that only children of the relatively wealthy will be able to obtain post-secondary education and training.
Taking decision-making powers away from local School Boards and centralizing all power in Victoria means that local needs will not be met. Many citizens concerned about quality education have been serving on Local School Boards and working to improve our education system. With these Boards made virtually powerless, this contribution will be lost.
Bill 3 would also make it possible for teachers, college instructors and university professors to be fired indiscriminately, with no regard to their skills or experience. How can we expect to have good teachers under these circumstances?
IMPORTANT SOCIAL SERVICES CUT OR WIPED OUT
With unemployment at record levels and families suffering greater stress than usual, many social services are more important than ever. The following are just some of the services which have been cut back or eliminated because of the Budget and the government’s legislation.
Child Abuse Teams to help to protect thousands of children in B.C. More than 5,000 children last year were helped by the Family Support workers who are being wiped out.
Homemaker Services, providing essential help to troubled families are cut drastically. Transition House in Vancouver, providing a refuge for battered wives and their children has had its funding eliminated and staff fired.
Staff or group homes and treatment centres for children with special problems have been fired.
The British Columbia Association for the Mentally Retarded which has helped many people to become useful, productive citizens has lost its funding.
Planned Parenthood Association has lost its grant, increasing the likelihood of more teen-age pregnancies.
Other services such as Post Partum Counselling and Youth Worker Program have been eliminated.
The Community Involvement Program which, at a cost to the Provincial Government of only $750,000 provided an opportunity for 2,500 disabled British Columbians to develop useful skills and contribute to the community has been wiped out.
Together, these cuts in programs and elimination of programs will make life in British Columbia worse for thousands of people. In addition, the increased problems which will result will cost us much more in public funds in the long run. The Government is not only lacking in humanity, but is also lacking in common sense.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Write your M.L.A. and protest the Attack on Health, Education and Social Services in B.C.
Support Solidarity Coalition activities in your community
Make you objections known to your local newspaper
Sign the Solidarity petition.
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