On October 15, ARPA Canada’s director made a presentation to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services which is traveling BC to hear from the public about priorities for the 2009 budget. A panel of MLA’s listened to our ten minute presentation in which we expressed our gratitude for their work but also called for a return to public responsibility. The issues we spoke to included the BC government’s plan to extend kindergarten to three and four-year-olds, the public funding of abortion even though it is not a medically necessary service, the need to pay down our debt, and the need to get rid of our BC Human Rights Commission.
Here are some selections of the presentation we gave:
“ARPA Canada is not another interest group. Our message for you is not another demand for more money towards the things that we care about. On the contrary, our message to you is to promote responsibility, both for the public and for the BC government itself, especially as it prepares its budget.”
“We urge the BC government to show leadership by calling the citizens of BC to exercise our responsibilities towards each other first. By extension, we call on you, our law makers, to limit your role to the responsibilities that you have been entrusted with, not the ones that some would like to be entrusted with.”
“Regardless of the possible educational benefits of institutional care for young children (the evidence of which is questionable), the government should not be spending money in a way that takes the responsibility of care away from parents. Our concern should be first and foremost for the well-being of children, not the economy or the workforce.”
“Isn’t it ironic that we pay for our own ambulance rides during a medical crisis but the government covers the cost of a life-ending procedure that is not even medically necessary? So why are the over 14,000 abortions performed every year in BC paid for by the BC government? The answer is obvious but sad: a vocal minority demand that they be able to make choices without responsibilities. And our leaders refuse to take the public pressure and speak up, even if they are completely within the law to do so.”
“Our debt is equivalent to stealing from our children so that we can enjoy our lavish living. Just as citizens are required to pay off our personal debts with regular payments, the BC government should take the provincial debt seriously by making regular payments towards it. We will all benefit from the money that is saved by declining interest expenses.”
“Thank you for taking the time to hear these comments. We realize full well that they are neither popular nor politically correct but we urge you to stand up for what is right rather than what is popular. May you be given much strength and wisdom as you work to represent British Columbians in our Legislature.”