EDITORIAL: Social policy is critical in B.C.

Social issues are broad-based and impact everyone in the North Okanagan

Social issues are broad-based and impact everyone in the North Okanagan, whether it’s a family searching for child care, a victim of violence seeking assistance, seniors needing support or working individuals trying to find affordable housing.

Increasingly, municipalities and community agencies are turned to by those in need, but the reality is that social issues fall under the jurisdiction of the provincial government.

Currently, B.C. does not have a social policy framework although other provinces, including Alberta, do.

“We need a solid plan to deal with our more pressing social issues,” said Annette Sharkey, with the local Social Planning Council of the North Okanagan.

“Municipalities don’t have the resources or mandate to deal with complex social issues. A framework for B.C. will focus resources more effectively to us.”

Board Voice, a non-profit agency, is leading a campaign to have a social policy framework in B.C.

“We believe that a principled, well-developed social policy framework that builds common understanding, is pragmatic in delivery and is measured by outcomes can streamline delivery of critical services, improve the results for those who need it most and guide decision making into the future,” it states.

And consider what happens if social issues aren’t addressed. Individuals feel isolated, homelessness can climb, health care costs soar and crime can escalate.

“Without a plan, there will be gaping holes or overlaps and redundancies in service,” said Rob Sawatzky, Vernon’s mayor.

Municipalities across the province are calling on the government to take action. Let’s hope the officials in Victoria are listening.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Museum digs up history for ’60s Vernon Winter Carnival

Get Groovin’ with the Grandkids or flashback to the ’60s with tunes, trivia and costumes

City of Enderby apologizes for cemetery damages

‘Very disrespectful’: Headstones at Enderby cemetery damaged by excavation crew

Two-month-old Kelowna boy diagnosed with rare heart disorder returns home from treatment

Arel spent two weeks at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver after suffering multiple cardiac arrests

Stop 5G in Vernon, environment group says

A moratorium was requested by local environment group

Vernon Community Champion: respect works here

‘It takes a special place to be home to a global culture…’

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

Shuswap man given six months jail time for possession of child pornography

Forty-six-year-old will be on National Sex Offender Registry for 20 years

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Power outage at Big White

It’s unknown why the power went out Tuesday afternoon

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Most Read