Two views of B.C. health spending

Gregory Thomas

Gregory Thomas

As the B.C. government presents its latest budget and awaits a new premier to set the direction of government, here are two very divergent views of the direction the province’s finances are headed.

Gregory Thomas, B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, points to another operating deficit, with $440 million in spending overruns, much of it in health care.

“Spending grew 4.3 per cent year over year. Spending grew faster than the economy. Spending grew faster than the inflation rate. Spending grew faster than the population,” Thomas said. “The finance minister’s number one job is to control spending, so I’d have to say Hansen flunked this year on that basis.”

Judy D’Arcy, secretary-business manager of the Hospital Employees Union, said there is a lot of “fear mongering” about health care spending, but in fact B.C.’s expenditures as a share of the economy have remained stable over 10 years.

“If you talk about a status quo budget in health care, what that means is families are paying more for Medical Services Plan premiums out of their own pockets,” D’Arcy said. “It means health care workers continue to be stretched to the limit. And for seniors, because of these new residential care fee hikes, seniors are paying more out of their own pocket for their own care in the last year of their lives.”

Just Posted

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by: WeissPaarz.com
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read