March 2, 2020

MAPLE RIDGE/PITT MEADOWS – Major cuts to mental health and addictions funding in the NDP’s budget will hurt vulnerable people and communities, says BC Liberal candidate Cheryl Ashlie.

The budget presented last week in Victoria includes almost a five per cent cut to the office that develops, monitors, and evaluates mental health and addictions programs, and holds other programs within the ministry flat over three years despite growing needs.

“The need for mental health supports and addiction treatment is only growing in BC – making these cuts all the more short-sighted and damaging,” says Ashlie, who works in primary health care and sees the growing needs first-hand. “We know the NDP are cutting services because they’ve run out of money and failed to grow the economy – but they shouldn’t be making the most vulnerable people in communities like Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows pay the price.”

Cuts to mental health and addictions supports are just the beginning of the services slashed by the NDP budget. K-12 education, transit, childcare, and environmental protection will all suffer funding reductions – despite 23 new or increased taxes since the NDP took power.

“The NDP promised that higher taxes would lead to improved services and lower the cost of living – and it’s now clear those promises were empty,” Ashlie added. “Only Andrew Wilkinson’s BC Liberals will grow our economy so that prosperity pays for the public services British Columbians count on.”

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Deanie Wong

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