News broke and poop hit the fans in Victoria this week. It was reported by the (independent) Representative for Children and Youth Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond that the BC Liberal government wasted more than $66 million over the last 12 years.
On what you ask? Meetings and fruitless initiatives to help improve the Aboriginal child welfare system. It’s a novel, worthy cause that the government ought to put money into.
Then Why The Hard Critique Of The BC Liberal Government?
The term “waste” has been used pretty fruitfully in all news stories on this report. Why? Because not one Aboriginal child has received an increase in services or any useful credit of any kind out of this $66 million. So indeed the BC Liberal Government wasted $66 million on a whole lot of nothing.
According the Turpel-Lafond:
“More than $66 million has been spent without any functional public policy framework, no meaningful financial or performance accountability, and without any actual children receiving additional services because of these expenditures.”
Remember that Turpel-Lafond serves the government in a non-partisan role. She has no opposition or pro-government ties. She was appointed to her position back in 2006 for a 5 year term which was extended. So the credibility on this report is pretty high.
So What DID The BC Liberal Government Spend That Money On?
Turpel-Lafond’s report found that between 2002 and 2009, the BC Liberal Government spent over $34 million on creating Regional Aboriginal Authorities to take over the creation and implementation of these programs and policies. However, that never happened and $34 million of your money went down the drain.
According to Turpel-Lafond, the money went to:
“paying people to meet, hiring consultants to facilitate those meetings, and producing materials of questionable practical value following such meetings that almost never addressed the actual difficulties children and youth were experiencing in their lives.”
Is More Money Being Wasted In This Area?
The report also addressed certain concerns from Turpel-Lafond about an annual spend of $90 million by the government on “Delegated Aboriginal Authorities” which actually deliver services to native children. However, the problem here according to the report is that it’s unclear how this money is being spent and if’ it’s being spent efficiently. It’s clear that transparency or efficient spending aren’t strong suits of the BC Liberals. It’s not exactly a general government strong suit either.
Here’s why this news should anger you:
- A significant portion of the money you pay every year in taxes is being wasted. There are always reports being done by non-partisan watchdogs chronicling the waste that comes out of Victoria.
- Your vote ALWAYS matters. Both the BC Liberals and BC NDP are no strangers reckless spending. This means that voting in alternatives to Victoria are extra important. Vote in good people who won’t stand for foolish spending of your tax dollars. We can’t go back in time to re-do elections. The BC Liberal Government is here until 2017 but keep something like this in mind for then when other parties approach you. But don’t be afraid to look for alternatives instead of the same trained seals we see elected to Victoria over and over again.
- The trust of the people in government is breaking. There is a genuine distrust amongst the average working person in elected lawmakers. That’s how it is everywhere. But that is no reason to stay on the sidelines. Voice your opposition to things that matter to you and I hope government waste is one of them.
The news of this report by the Representative on the wasted money that the BC Liberal Government has spent shouldn’t surprise you. Christy Clark and her minions have done this time and time again. It’s up to the rest of us to keep an eye out for this constant waste of your money. Then, exercise your right to vote in the next election.