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CONTRIBUTION · 6th January 2012

Hiding the results of Skip Triplett’s gaming grant review from the public will only serve to highlight the Liberal government’s failure to treat community organizations with respect, say New Democrats.

“This report was intended to lay out a number of options for the administration of gaming grants after the Liberals changed the criteria without consulting with community groups,” said Shane Simpson, New Democrat gaming critic. “The Liberals have already failed to keep their promise to release the report by Dec. 31. Community-based organizations and the public need to have the opportunity to respond to the findings and plan for the upcoming budget cycle."

Simpson wrote a letter to the premier expressing concern that the government plans to cement policy changes stemming from the report without first giving the public an opportunity to see the different options presented.

“Community groups are looking for stability and signs that this government intends to respect them and the work they do,” said Simpson. “Refusing to stick to their own timeline for releasing the gaming grant report is a troubling indication that the Liberals haven’t learned from their past failure to work with community groups before making major changes to the structure of gaming grants," said Simpson, noting the Liberals also have two outstanding reviews into the troubled Community Living B.C. (CLBC) that they haven't released publicly.

Spencer Chandra Herbert, New Democrat critic for arts and culture, noted that unilateral changes to gaming grants made by the Liberal government hit arts organizations particularly hard.

“The Liberals really pulled the rug out from beneath arts organizations, leaving many with no choice but to cut programs or shut their doors,” said Chandra Herbert. “Arts organizations remain concerned that the Liberals don’t take arts and culture seriously or understand the many ways that the arts enrich our communities. Their failure to release the gaming grant report can only create more anxiety in a sector that has been treated as disposable by the Liberals.”

Adrian Dix and the New Democrats are calling on the Liberals to show respect for the social contract that was made when gaming was expanded in British Columbia by ensuring that community organizations continue to benefit from the proceeds.

“The government is collecting more revenue from gaming than ever before and that was true when they originally slashed grants to hundreds of community groups,” noted Simpson. “Unfortunately it seems like the Liberals still believe that gaming grants are there to be dispersed at their whim, rather than an essential part of the social contract that was made when gaming was expanded in British Columbia.”
Panic Mode
Comment by Gary Edwards on 6th January 2012
The BC Liberal Party is in panic mode. They are desperately grasping at every dollar they can get their hands on to cover their political asses over the way they have mis spent this province into the deepest debt it has ever had. The only thing that will stop them is to recall them out of existence. I believe that they actually don't realize the harm they are causing.
Game Sense or Liberal Nonsense
Comment by Linda Halyk on 6th January 2012
Game Sense or Liberal Nonsense, know your limit play within it. Out of Bounds, Cheating, Poor Sports, Lack of Ability, and it is all from Poor Leadership.
Maybe it is time for the Auditor General to get involved with the liberal's accounting practices.
Stalling gaming grant report.
Stalling HST removal.
Special accounting practices for BC Hydro debt.

What are they covering up, or are they going to give someone else a hefty severance package and need to grab some funds, or have they been raiding it all along and now nothing is left.

I think it is time we demand an election.