tax dollars are working even harder to create spin for the
BC Liberals. Most folks don't regularly check on the government's
website, but those who do will notice that it has been
updated with the elimination of more than a dozen graphic
links in the right column, replaced by only three graphic
links and three lists of linked text. It would be a waste
of time and resources to try and discover how much the provincial
government spent on revising the appearance of its website.
Relative to the contrast between the bottomless pit of money
for the "games" compared to cuts to services, a
few hundred thousand or so for a website revision would be
a drop in the bucket.
hasn't changed on the government site is that spin continues
to dominate fact. Click on "for the record", then
on "children" and you'll see unbelievable
Poverty is decreasing in British Columbia.
child poverty level (LICO after tax) is now at its lowest
level since 1991
child poverty rate in B.C. fell 32 per cent between 2003
2006 and 2007 the child poverty rate fell 21 per cent.
poverty level for all age groups is at its lowest level
in nearly two decades.
across all age groups in B.C. has fallen by 21 per cent
between 2001 and 2007.
2006 and 2007 the rate for all age groups fell 15 per cent.
those claims to what is reported
by the BC Progress Board:
2007, BC ranked second-last in Canada with 15.3 percent
of families and unattached individuals with incomes below
the after-tax low income cut-off (LICO)."
Progress Board's site includes a graph (reproduced here) which
shows that between 1999 and 2006 low income prevalence decreased
for both BC and Canada, but the accompanying explanation of
the graph said:
provinces saw decreases in the proportion of people with
low income between 1998 and 2007. British Columbia had the
third-smallest decrease at 25 percent and Alberta had the
largest decrease at 51 percent."
rate fell by eight percent between 2006 and 2007. This did
not result in a rank improvement, however, because most
other provinces had even larger decreases. Prince Edward
Island, Alberta and Saskatchewan had decreases in low income
rates twice as large as BC's." (emphasis added)
other words, the government's website spins misleading statistics
which are not supported by the Premier's hand-picked Progress
Board. Neither are the BC Liberal government's claims supported
by the "2009
Child Poverty Report Card", published by First Call
BC, which reported:
Columbia had the highest child poverty rate in Canada for
the sixth year in a row in 2007." The Report went on
to say: "BC's child poverty rates have been above the
national average since 1999 and the highest of any province
for six years in a row. The BC child poverty rate in 2007
was 18.8%, higher than the rate of 14.5% in 1989 and sharply
higher than the rate of 11% in 1980."
accompanying graph (reproduced here) shows
the child poverty rate for BC and Canada fluctuating around
the same values between 1980 and 2000, after which a 3 point
gap is created to the disadvantage of BC children - contrary
to claims on the government's website.
example of misleading claims and the selective use of statistics
is found when you click on "Your
B.C. Government: Key Facts" where you will see a
graphic which reports that between 2001 and 2009 there were
"over 363,000 jobs created". Not reported is that
is about the same number of jobs that would have been created
if the employment growth rate of the previous decade had continued.
grew from an annual average of 1.58 million in 1991 to
1.92 million in 2001, an average annual rate of increase of
2.0%. Continued at that rate, annual employment would have
been 2.25 million in 2009; actual employment reported by Statistics
Canada for BC in November 2009 was 2.26 million.
Columbians have learned the hard way after the last election
that the B.C. Liberals suffer an enormous credibility gap.
Whether it is their claims about the HST, promises about the
deficit, commitments to protect health and education or simply
statistical facts about child poverty and employment, you
have to check the facts for yourself because you can't believe
what the government tells you, updated website or not.