B.C. Liberals to start pitching budget before election: Pre-election budget tabled Tuesday includes tax hikes

CBC News

…Critics say education, vulnerable children left out of budget

Meanwhile, educators are giving the provincial government a failing grade.

The province has cut funding for advanced education by about $4 million.

“Although the minister said higher education spending is at an all-time high in B.C. … student enrollment is also at an all-time high and it’s growing faster than the money is growing which is why, on a per student basis, we’re down 20 per cent by the end of this budget plan,” said Robert Clift, the executive director of the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of B.C.

K-12 funding has remained flat.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation says per-student funding in the province is now below every other province in the country except PEI.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth, is also critical of the budget.

She says it offers nothing to vulnerable children and families, calling the government’s budget increase for daycare “a pittance” and its plan to improve education with fewer resources “laughable.”

“For the children and families that we know already have deep needs, there’s actually really nothing there,” she said.

“So when we look at issues like child and youth mental health … there’s no relief. There’s no relief on the type of homes we’re putting in children in care. No therapeutic residential services money. It’s not a friendly budget for vulnerable persons and those in demand-driven services, like the Ministry for Children and Families.”

Turpel-Lafond says it’s hard to believe the government’s claim that it puts family first when looking at the budget.

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