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CCPA opens effort to track BC cuts

With provincial politicians refusing to provide details of what they've cut, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has launched an effort to create a list.

“It's nearly impossible to get accurate information from the usual sources,” said Iglika Ivanova, an economist with the CCPA. “The information is not being released that way.”

Instead news of cuts to programs, services and grants are coming out in dribs and drabs through the media, she said. “Obviously not everyone complains and gets media attention. We thought it's important to start tracking it ourselves.”

The CCPA has opened a page on its website seeking comments and e-mail from people who know about cuts in their community.

“We're concerned the impact of these cuts will be huge,” said Ivanova. “If we want to know what's happening, we have to do it ourselves.”

Housing and Social Development minister Rich Coleman said he has been clear about which areas his ministry's gaming grants program has ceased funding. “I've been very upfront about what's been cut and what's been reduced on the gaming grant side.”

“It's not a case of saying here's an organization that's been given money and now they're going to have that taken back from them,” said finance minister Colin Hansen when asked why there's no list of what's been cut.

“There a whole bunch of organizations that would have liked to have got money from the province and applied for it. There's going to be more than the usual number of organizations that are not going to get yeses.”

Ivanova said the cuts are not just to grants but include programs and services. The most vulnerable people are least likely to complain publicly, she said. “Some people don't get as much representation in the traditional media.”

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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