The Liberal government's second pillar of their so-called "families first" agenda announced Tuesday comes more than a year after the premier launched the slogan, yet it is as underwhelming as last week's first pillar.
The second pillar focuses on safety, but a review of the announcement shows there are no new ideas, and it falls short of fixing previous Liberal cuts.
Status quo for the Guns and Gang Strategy
The key component of Tuesday’s announcement is that the Liberals won’t axe the Guns and Gang Strategy, by allowing it to continue for three more years.
A strategic plan for policing sometime in the future
While B.C. gang violence has been a serious issue for the past several years, the Liberals have just now committed to having a policing strategy completed somewhere down the road to tackling the issue.
No new funding for mediator positions
The Liberals did not provide any new funding for new child protection program mediators in their announcement.
Justice access centre expansions won’t make up for previous severe Liberal legal aid cuts
The Liberals provided little detail as to how significant the “expansions” of the justice access centres will be, but any expansion would fail to make up for the devastating cuts made by the B.C. Liberals to legal assistance services.
The Liberals shut down the LawLine, eliminated the non-emergency family legal tariff, cut services to family duty counsel, and shut down 85 per cent of the legal aid offices throughout B.C.
Leonard Krog, New Democrat attorney general critic: “The second pillar announcement is as underwhelming as the first pillar. At this rate the liberals will need hundreds of pillars before families will feel any significant improvement in their lives. It would be better if the Liberals would just undo the damage they’ve done in our courts and legal aid services. It wouldn’t exactly be a pillar, but it would be more significant that what they announced today.”
Kathy Corrigan, New Democrat public safety critic: “The Liberals continue to be big on slogans and empty on ideas and action. The announcement today will do very little to make families feel safer in British Columbia. The status quo isn’t good enough at a time when we’re seeing gang violence back on our streets.”