Excerpt from the Official Report of
DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

(Hansard)


March 9, 2010

Community gaming grant cuts and supports for vulnerable people

S. Simpson: Hon. Speaker, $36 million in gaming grant cuts, over $26 million in cuts to the disabled and people on income assistance, and all of this in less than one week.

In the budget speech the Finance Minister said: "Too many people across B.C. are still feeling the downturn, too many families are struggling, and too many communities still face uncertainty."

Can the Minister of Housing and Social Development tell us how over $62 million in cuts to communities and vulnerable citizens in less than a week does anything but add to those struggles and add to that uncertainty?

...

S. Simpson: What I don't understand, for the minister, is how he thinks it's okay to increase Internet gaming limits to $10,000 and not give a dime to playgrounds for kids. That's what I don't understand.

What I don't understand is how the minister can stand up and talk about protection when he eliminates grants for environmental groups, eliminates grants for arts and culture, eliminates grants for playgrounds, cuts grants for child care and preschools and then cuts nutrition supplements, dental services, medical services, funeral services, shelter allowances and contraception services. And that's just the beginning, I'm sure.

Making these cuts is tragic. To have done it with no consultation is shameful on the part of this minister. Can the minister tell us why he thinks it's okay to so dramatically impact communities and individual citizens with not one word of consultation or discussion?

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