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BURNABY With the Ministry of Children and Families in chaos, it is encouraging to see the new minister take a step back in announcing that community social services restructuring will be delayed, says CUPE BC.

We have been urging the ministry to rethink the restructuring plan since the resignation of Doug Walls and Gordon Hogg, said Barry ONeill, president of CUPE BC. Finally they are listening to good sense instead of dashing ahead with a flawed plan.

CUPE BC has been calling on new Minister of Children and Families Christy Clark to halt plans that would transfer responsibility of over 9,000 people with disabilities to an arms length agency.

Of course we are a long way away from having a plan in place that will appropriately protect people in care, ONeill said. The devil is in the details, and we will have to see what the new plan entails before we can give the government full confidence.

The Liberals restructuring plans have been heavily criticised for devolving authority while cutting funding at the same time. When Alberta implemented similar restructuring, funding was significantly increased doubling over four years.

CUPE BC has also called on Attorney-General Wayne Strelioff to conduct an independent audit of the ministry.

Its clear that this ministry has been in crisis for quite some time, ONeill said. Although we are pleased to see Clark pull back from the governments reckless plans for restructuring, the ministry is not out of the woods yet.

There are a lot of questions that need to be answered, he added. A full investigation into the ministry is needed to ensure the public has confidence in the Liberals to manage this ministry properly.

CUPE BC is the provinces largest union representing 69,000 workers, including 2000 community social services members.


Contact: Barry ONeill, President, CUPE BC at 604-916-8444.