BC Fed release: New poll shows British Columbians opposed to B.C. government cutting public services

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Results of a mid-August poll by Ipsos Reid, done on behalf of the B.C. Federation of Labour and a number of public sector unions, show strong support for budget measures that help B.C. families weather the current economic downturn.

“These results confirm what the labour movement has been saying for a long time: the provincial government needs to take decisive steps now to protect valuable public services that working families in this province need,” said Jim Sinclair, President of the B.C. Federation of Labour.

“Unfortunately, the Campbell government has so far ignored our call for these steps. We’re hoping that the tabling of a revised budget on September 1st will show a change of direction, a change that begins to align the government’s budget priorities with the majority of people in B.C.,” Sinclair added.

“It’s obvious from this poll that voters will not accept balancing the books by cuts to valuable public services,” Sinclair said.

The poll found strong support for a variety of budget measures:

  • 86 per cent supported investing in more public services like post-secondary education and re-training programs for unemployed workers.
  • 75 per cent opposed cuts to services like child protection, legal aid and provincial parks to balance the budget.
  • 61 per cent opposed cuts to spending on environmental protections and enforcement to balance the budget.
  • 84 per cent supported increased funding for local health authorities to prevent cuts to health services.
  • 85 per cent supported new initiatives to protect and create jobs in British Columbia.
  • 76 per cent supported creating a new child care program to help working families.

“The poll also showed that British Columbians are looking for greater tax fairness from the provincial government. When 76 per cent of respondents support increasing taxes paid by corporations and B.C.’s wealthy, it tells me that B.C. voters are very receptive to meaningful tax reform,” Sinclair noted.

“We will be in Victoria for the budget presentation on September 1st. Hopefully, the priorities reflected in these polling numbers are also reflected in what the Finance Minster tables in the Legislature. British Columbians deserve nothing less,” Sinclair concluded.