The B.C. government has found a wonderful old-fashioned way to justify cutting funds from social and medical programs.
"You can't have that, 'cause everyone will want it, so there!"
The fancy name they give this meanness is "service equalization."
On Vancouver Island, the Health Authority needs to cut $45 Million from their budget. (The new Canada Line cost $133 Million per kilometre vs. $13 Million they could have spent on Light Rail. The Olympics? Don't even ask.)
So, here is a partial list of what's going:
Fewer operations, reduced diagnostic services, higher parking fees. There's a hiring freeze and an overtime ban. Properties will be sold and two residential care homes will close.
If a support service for parents is available in Victoria but not in Powell River, the Victoria program is being cut. Meals on Wheels will no longer be delivered for free to some shut-ins because others pay a fee.
The same principle means less money for therapy for adults with mental illness and peer counselling programs for those struggling with addictions.
Peer counselling for addicts is just about the cheapest, not to mention the most effective approach to addictions that we have. Cutting funds is cutting your own throat.
And Meals on Wheels?
Gordon Campbell is clearly going out of his way to be the new poster boy for The Grinch.