VICTORIA– The Liberals should be making meaningful changes at Community Living B.C. that improve the lives of British Columbia’s most vulnerable citizens, not engaging in short-term, misleading damage control, say New Democrats.
"The Liberals said they were scrapping the executive bonus program at CLBC, but their answer was to just roll the full bonuses into base pay," said Nicholas Simons, New Democrat critic for Community Living B.C. "The Liberals are showing once again that they have their priorities all wrong by being more concerned about fixing the pay structure for executives than they are about fixing the system itself.
"Adrian Dix and the New Democrat opposition have been saying there needs to be an independent review of CLBC, and this fiasco just underscores that need," said Simons. "It's another example of poor judgement that undermines public confidence, and it's families that are being hurt the most by these decisions."
After New Democrats repeatedly raised concerns both inside and outside the legislature about Community Living B.C. clients being forced out of their homes, and about the revelation that CLBC executives were being given bonus pay for doing it, the Liberals pledged to end the bonus structure last fall.
“Rolling bonuses into the base wages of CLBC executives is not only misleading, it shows that the Liberals simply don’t understand the core issue, which is that British Columbians want their government to treat the developmentally disabled with compassion, dignity and respect,” said New Democrat social development critic Carole James.
“If the Liberals wanted to improve public opinion about the job they were doing at CLBC, they should have worked to improve services for vulnerable families rather than telling the public they would do one thing when they planned to do another. By misleading the public about their plans to address executive bonuses at CLBC, the Liberals showed that they can’t be trusted to put the interests of clients and their families before their own narrow political agenda," said James.
“Now, more than ever, it’s essential to have a fully independent review of CLBC and its management structure. It’s clear that the internal reviews done by the Liberals haven’t gotten to the core issues. British Columbians want meaningful changes at CLBC, not window dressing and damage control."