John Horgan will be sworn in as BC’s next Premier on July 18, the same day his NDP government take power. The swearing in at Government House in Victoria will also include the new cabinet—the size and makeup of which has garnered much speculation.
The Federation is ready to continue working closely with the new provincial government on behalf of our members; we have been preparing for this for a long time.
I have met and communicated with Mr. Horgan on multiple occasions over the past few years under the guidance of the Federation board. Our board members have also met with Mr. Horgan and his shadow cabinet over the last several months and a number of NDP candidates attended our Social Policy Forum in February.
Thanks to all this hard work, we are more than ready to educate and engage with the new social care cabinet ministers once they are named next week.
With the new NDP government taking shape, I feel more confident than ever about The Federation’s position and our ability to speak out (and be listened to) about the things we care about most.
A letter sent to Premier-designate Horgan this week outlined five actions and approaches that we believe are priorities for the children, youth, families, and vulnerable adults of British Columbia.
Improve outcomes for children, youth, and families: We are urging the government to lend full support and the required funding to the implementation of the recommendations in the Residential Review Report.
Encourage and support permanency: We are asking the new government to improve the array of supports and services available so that more children and youth can safely remain with their families.
Meaningful reconciliation: We have emphasized the need for BC’s social care systems to incorporate a reconciliation lens into the provision of services and to increase the emphasis on trauma-informed approaches to service delivery.
Invest in community: We highlighted the utter lack of funding increases over the past 15 years and urged the government to include the community social services sector in all plans for increased funding, wage lifts, and recruitment/retention strategies.
Engage community agencies in the planning of social services: We also asked for increased involvement of the community social services sector in both the delivery and the planning of social care services and supports.
We will share the letter in full with Federation members next week. Look for it in your email inbox and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
I also encourage you to use the letter and the actions and approaches it details when you next meet with your local MLA. We will to our very best to get these items on the agenda in our meetings with government and civil servants and I urge you to do the same.
The more we are all able to pull in the same direction, the sooner we will see movement, progress, and change.