Health Cut Funds Olympic Secretariat
you just look at the totals you might think the Ministry of
Healthy Living and Sport got a big budget increase after the
election, because in February it was scheduled to get an annual
budget of $70.7 million but in September it was increased
to $87.3 million. The devil is in the details!
Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport includes some sport programs
and some health programs. Responsibility for "population
and public health" was part of the Ministry both before
and after the election, but responsibility for the 2010 Olympics
and Paralympic Winter Games Secretariat was with the Ministry
of Finance before the election and shifted to the Ministry
of Healthy Living and Sport after the election. While the
Secretariat was part of the Ministry of Finance, the February
budget gave it $32.3 million for 2009-2010; the budget for
the Games Secretariat was increased by $8.4 million to $40.7
million after the election when it was transferred to Healthy
Living and Sport. At the same time the budget for population
and public health was cut.
Campbell government is fond of telling British Columbians
how much it is spending on health care, but you have to read
through the fine print of the February pre-election and September
post-election budgets for each ministry to discover that after
the election it cut funding for population and public health
from $43.6 million to $24.9 million. The "estimates book"
is the document that provides details the budget for each
ministry. It describes the budget for population and public
health as providing for "
the development of Population
and Public Health policy and programs to support health promotion,
health protection, disease prevention, health assessment and
disease surveillance." It also provides for policies
and programs related to mental health and addictions; the
protection and maintenance of conditions essential for sustaining
the quantity and quality of water resources; the setting of
standards for monitoring and reporting on air and water quality
as it relates to health; the development of policies and programs
to support seniors' health; support and services to help improve
Aboriginal health and for policy development and support for
women and their children in the areas of health promotion,
disease, disability and injury prevention, and physical activity
and participation in sport. With 43% less money than the budget
promised before the election, exactly what services are being
cut? Don't wait for the Campbell government to provide a list!
by line comparison of estimates by ministry and program before
and after the election will no doubt reveal many surprises,
but none so shocking as increasing funding for the Games Secretariat
at the same time funding is cut for public health.
the figures for yourself. The pre-election "estimates
book" is at http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2009/estimates/2009_Estimates.pdf;
see pages 125-130 for Healthy Living and Sport and page 98
for the Ministry of Finance's pre-election Games Secretariat
post-election "estimates book" is at http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2009_Sept_Update/estimates/Estimates_Sept_2009.pdf;
see pages 133-138 and page 200 in Appendix A.