Each year, the B.C. General Employees' Union (BCGEU) offers input into next year's provincial budget by making recommendations in a written submission to the B.C. government's Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. These recommendations reflect the voice of our union's 80,000 members, based on direct input from the BCGEU's senior elected leadership.
Last week, our union presented its submission to the Budget 2022 Consultation, which speaks to several key goals and priorities for government regarding social and economic equality, action on climate change, resilience, ongoing economic recovery, and the incredible economic and social value of public services, programs, and investments.
To support these objectives, our submission made recommendations to government in the following areas:
- Reforming seniors’ care: Bring the seniors care sector within the Canada Health Act (and within the public health system), and end contracts with for-profit providers. Our seniors deserve better.
- Investing in affordable, non-market housing: Our union calls for aggressive investment in affordable and supportive housing options in Budget 2022 and beyond to ensure a just economic recovery.
- Accelerating the transition to universal, public child care: The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that all working families need reliable, affordable and accessible child care to fully participate in the workforce. Progress has been made, but there are several areas needing to be addressed, such as more robust recruitment and retention initiatives.
- Prioritizing action on climate change, green infrastructure and renewable energy development: We must have a meaningful response to our global climate emergency. Our recommendations address public transit, buildings and infrastructure, environmental protection and restoration, clean energy, and more.
- Investing in supportive social programs and services: Recommended measures include increasing mandatory paid sick leave, funding a provincial anti-racism strategy for workplaces, and providing additional resources to improve protections for vulnerable children and youth.
- Advancing tax fairness, economic equality, and government revenue: Further steps must be taken to build a fairer and more progressive tax system for the province.
This budget submission complements our union's recent submission to Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, to help build a long-term economic plan for B.C.
Read the full text of our written budget submission here.
Given that we are over 19 months into a devastating global pandemic, next year's budget will be more important than ever to help guide our province through economic recovery. Although great strides have been made to help British Columbians through this very challenging time, there is much work to do. We must meaningfully address these priorities in order to ensure a high quality of life for all British Columbians, both now and in the future.
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