2020 Select Standing Committee Submission

Every year, The Federation presents during the consultations of the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. This year was no different. (Although our presentation was done virtually rather than in-person, for the first time.)

Our submission and presentation highlighted both the strength and vulnerability of BC’s community social services sector and prioritized three main ideas or goals:

  1. Reconciliation-informed changes
  2. Support and fund the Social Services Sector Roundtable
  3. Trust and collaboration

You can read an excerpt from our submission below. The entire text can be viewed here.

In many ways, our province’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a shining example of how to handle a crisis. But BC’s social services sector has been in crisis for decades. This government has proven that it knows how to do what needs to be done—that it’s possible to make change where and when change is needed.

It is absolutely possible to rebuild our province and it is absolutely possible to fix these problems and repair BC’s social services sector. The current government is already paying attention to areas that have been neglected for too long and we are very glad to see time and money and effort being put towards things like poverty reduction, affordable childcare, child and youth mental health plan, and community inclusion for people with disabilities. Commitments and funding to address homelessness and substance use and to support women fleeing violence are all steps in the right direction and give us hope for the future.

We know that this government is committed to delivering on its promises to provide the services that people depend upon and create a balanced economy that benefits everyone. But we also need you to know that fully supporting and collaborating with BC’s community social services sector is the only way those things are going to happen. Use our knowledge and experience. Invite us to your tables. Let us help you ensure that funding decisions and policy development are done in a way that respects and supports the organizations that are delivering those services and living out those policies—big or small, urban or rural, Indigenous or non-Indigenous.

There remains a lot of work to do but we are fully committed to working with our government colleagues in order to achieve lasting, positive change. We all understand that healthy, supported communities make good economic sense. But healthy, supported communities are not possible without a strong and sustainable community social services sector.