BC public servants at front line fighting privatization
Vulnerable citizens suffering from cuts and sell-offs.
OTTAWA, September 29, Straight Goods News, with YouTube video: Perhaps no other province is going through more radical privatization than British Columbia. As a result its most vulnerable citizens are paying a worrisome price.
"We have a government that is hell-bent on privatizing public services," said Carol Adams of the British Columbia Government Employees' Union (BCGEU). While attending the All Together Now conference held by NUPGE , she spoke with Straight Goods News about conditions in her province.
"They're getting out of the business of providing important and vital services and leaving them to the private sector or eliminating those services altogether."
Adams says the impact on ordinary people is "a severe loss or cutback of things they really need in their lives, things like access to care for seniors to services for people with developmental disabilities to child care to stewardship of our forests. It's just really across-the-board cuts that have impacted communities and working families and ordinary people."
Carol Adams of BCGEU talks with Ish Theilheimer of Straight Goods News about the cuts to public services in British Columbia in this interview posted to YouTube:
While public services have been cut, many of public responsibilities have been downloaded to other levels of government and to non-profit associations, Adams says. "You see across-the-board suffering by contracted agencies by services providers, by community groups just reeling from the impact of these cuts."
For instance, $22 million has been cut from community living services. "In response the contracted agencies are being forced to close group homes and help individuals find less expensive housing that often is not in their best interest. It's unfortunate this government seems to be tartgetting the most vulnerable people in our society including seniors, the homeless, people with developmental disadvantages, and children."
To fight back, her union is working in coalition with "seniors, individuals, patients, advocates, local government officials and employers" across the province. "We're going community by community, member by member... talking to friends, raising public awareness in every way we can... to press the government to restore these cuts. They're on the wrong track," Adams said.
"We had an election last year and in the short period of time of a year, the Campbell Liberals have plummetted in the polls. People feel betrayed."