Money for Health Care?

Due to the economic crunch we are facing, the Provincial Government has made massive cuts to health care, education and services for seniors. Some of these “savings” can be seen in the proposed slashing of wages for Handi Dart workers in the lower mainland, refusing to pay on call ambulance attendants over the $2.00/$10.00 per hour formula and cutting the budgets of school boards to name a few.

However, the “cost consciousness” of the government is thrown into question when we consider the wages of the head of crown corporations and especially David Hahn, head of that “quasi private” B.C. Ferries. Special mention must go to the now defunct B.C. Rail. It was a public asset given to CN Rail for next to nothing in 2003 and for the past six years we taxpayers have paid out annual wages totalling $1.2 million to Kevin Mahoney the CEO and three other rail executives who have nothing to do. Good job if you can get it.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

Presently, the Provincial Government is cutting needed services, but not reducing the number of senior management earning hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars annually. If the reverse were true, over paid bureaucrats’ wages would be cut and we could keep the workers and services. The same money would be saved and the economy would benefit from the spending power of the workers and those who require the services.

Incorporate a “Made in B.C.” procurement policy. Almost every jurisdiction in the world gives preference to locally made and purchased products, why not B.C.? By requiring contractors to give preference to local hire and to commit to training workers, the very act of awarding a government contract will create employment and improve the economy.

Thirdly the Government should take back responsibility for the forests of B.C. What used to be our economic driver is almost totally destroyed by the lack to government policy.

B.C. doesn’t need to be in the deep recession---The Olympics will not cure all our ills---We must work at returning to prosperity.

View from Labour
Submitted by Jack McLeman
Former president of the PADLC