Forgotten Promise to BC's Children sign now

Great Goal #3 of Premier Gordon Campbells Strategic Plan for BC is to build the best system of support in Canada for children with special needs and those at risk. A truly laudable goal but one that has been forgotten.

While BC enjoyed record budget surpluses, waitlists for crucial supports grew longer, both in and out of school. Now Childrens Minister Mary Polak has cut millions from key programs for autism, FASD, infant and child development and Aboriginal children at risk. Other cuts include youth programs (mental health, addiction treatment), Special Olympics and funding for community-based childrens services. Polak also cut critical monitoring and oversight roles that assure childrens welfare and safety, and cut out important delivery options like direct funding. There was no risk assessment of impacts and these cuts accompany yet another major ministry re-structuring that will further strain capacity to support children at risk.

Professionals, disability groups, families, community organizations, staff and ordinary citizens have pleaded with Premier Campbell, Minister Polak and their colleagues to reconsider the damage they are causing. Decades of research affirm the cost benefits of intensive early intervention and support for at-risk children this offers real hope to struggling children and saves us all far more than it costs.

These cuts are not necessary theyre about priorities. The revised BC budget commits $14 billion in new capital spending. Alberta spends twice as much on autism for fewer kids and hasnt cut this despite a far higher deficit. BCs cuts will impose far higher costs on other ministries (education, housing, justice & social services). But Polak says this is the best we can do to help BCs vulnerable children.

We disagree. These cuts are foolish, short-sighted and heartless. Denying supports to children in need and children at risk is not consistent with the values we hold as British Columbians. Since BCs vulnerable children cant speak up against these cuts, it is our job as parents and citizens to stand up for them. If enough British Columbians choose to speak up, government will have to respond. Remaining silent means turning our backs on each child in need.

Premier Campbell, you have a duty to honour the promise you made to BCs children. Please act immediately to restore, protect and strengthen vital supports for all children in need and at risk.

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Latest Signatures

  • 15 February 20161000. Maggie M
    I support this petition
  • 14 February 2016999. Irene W
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  • 24 January 2016991. Elena Juarez
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  • 21 January 2016990. Chris P
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  • 21 January 2016989. Crystal S
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  • 21 January 2016988. Cliff M
    it is ashame to see cuts like these ,to schools ,library s ;while other government waste big money on bonuses etc
  • 15 January 2016987. Sheila C
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  • 31 December 2015976. Lani P
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  • 31 December 2015975. Jeannie A
    These cuts are totally unacceptable - we can and MUST do better for these children.
  • 29 December 2015974. Patty M
    I support this petition

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Elsa FitzpatrickBy:
Nature and EnvironmentIn:
Petition target:
BC Premier Gordon Campbell

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