Dear Premier Clark,
I have a lasting solution to end hunger in BC to end all of our inner city hunger forever and for a fraction of the cost of existing programs that are falling far short of our hungry children’s needs. But first I want to highlight some spending that in my humble opinion should come second to feeding the hungry children of British Columbia. I also believe that this below spending shows that there is something terribly wrong with all of us in that we have allowed YOU Christy Clark, the BC Government to spend money this way. I believe the people of these BC Communities have to demand better. Maybe should start organizing a tax strike and a trust to allocate the money to the things we want to no longer allow the BC Government to pad the pockets of their friends and waste money that should be going to feeding, housing, building infrastructure and futures for us all. SOMETHING MUST BE DONE! Will you do something or will you yet again pass the buck LITERALLY to some one else. With Social media and my many pages and websites I reach as many as 3 million people a week and I promises to share your reply, not that I actually expect you to reply and yet I do hold out some hope.
Here are just the 8 areas of spending that were aparently more important then feeding the children of British Columbia.
1. The combined direct and indirect cost of the 2010 Games to Canadian taxpayers was $6-billion, with approximately $3-billion funded by the Government of British Columbia of which $3-billion is by the Province of BC. It is my opinion that this money could have and should have been used to forever end hunger in our cities.
2.TransLink – $100-million project to stop fare evasion and enhance service this project has still not resulted in function and it is well past due and way over budget, now pegged at $194 million! OH BUT WAIT there is more, now they want to increase fairs 25% from already very high rates, AND they want to impose 0.5% sales tax across the Lower Mainland. TransLink doesn’t just have one board of directors, it has six – at a cost of $751,589 in annual salary. And after TransLink’s board chair promised executive pay would be frozen “at 2012 levels,” every single TransLink executive got paid more money in 2013. TransLink spends $13.9M to buy back building, taxpayers have regained ownership of the 120,000 square foot Burnaby building that BC Transit sold for a $9 million loss in 2004. Despite crying poor, TransLink kicked in more than $30,000 to put a 7-foot statue of a poodle on top of a 25-foot pole. The Main Street Poodle is nowhere near any major transit station, nor is the poodle symbolic of the neighborhood. $5 Gets You $20: TransLink took months to fix a glitch that saw its ticket vending machines treat new $5 bills like they were $20s. People would buy tickets and get more money back than they put in. TransLink spent $523,000 on 13 TV screens at various SkyTrain stations. A year later, a CTF inspection showed only 4 of 13 were working. TransLink refuted that claim, saying 6 of the 13 $40,000+ TVs worked – still less than half. While TransLink scrapped FareSaver discounts, free rides for their own employees were kept.
3. B.C. handed a $115,000 “one-time grant” to a struggling municipal golf course, claiming its problems stem, in part, from poor weather. In a report, city staff said “good weather” was among the things “being worked on” to turn it around.
4. British Columbians saw $48,000 go to bringing Entertainment Tonight Canada to Vancouver for three days. Included in the provincial payout was $16,000 in airfare from Toronto and $12,000 worth of hotel accommodations.
5. The B.C. government sponsored a $3-million rock music tour last summer called JobFest, where attendees (when there were any) were offered on-site career counseling. Roughly $100,000 went to promotional kits, including glow sticks, guitar picks and glossy posters, mailed out to local businesses and media.
6. B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s office spent $64 million on ad campaigns for the London Olympics, twice that of her predecessor.
7. Turpel-Lafond’s report found that between 2002 and 2009, the BC Liberal Government spent over $34 million on creating Regional Aboriginal Authorities to take over the creation and implementation of these programs and policies. However, that never happened and $34 million of your money went down the drain.
According to Turpel-Lafond, the money went to:
“paying people to meet, hiring consultants to facilitate those meetings, and producing materials of questionable practical value following such meetings that almost never addressed the actual difficulties children and youth were experiencing in their lives.”
8. Budget 2014/15, released Tuesday, effectively freezes funding for the kindergarten to Grade 12 system for the next three years, and reduces the advanced-education budget for universities and colleges.
Nearly every sector of government saw little or no spending increases. Teresa Rezansoff, president of the B.C. School Trustees Association, said she was “very disappointed” education was not a priority in the fiscal plan. Vancouver school board chairwoman Patti Bacchus tweeted the budget leaves B.C. with the “lowest per-student public ed funding in country yet the highest cost per living.
There are hundreds of more examples and I am sure we could take it up to an easy 100 examples of horrific waste and poor priority examples in no time. I mean you showed us you don’t even know who is hurting and who needs a break or maybe you just do not care. No breaks for British Columbians who are struggling to get by, but you are going to cut taxes for British Columbians who make $150,000 or more?
How are our children to look at this, how is the world how do you see this? Do you see it like I do? I see our children being placed second to things listed above, because right now we have over 2000 children going hungry in just the city of Vancouver alone and that is criminal when we see golf courses and spectator sporting events getting billions and we are shorting children on educations and food. Children who go to school hungry risk many lifelong consequences including less developed literacy and numeracy skills and poor health due to a lack of good nutrition. This can impact long-term physical and mental health and socioeconomic outcomes. Research has shown that when children are eating nutritiously and regular meals their attendance, behavior, attitude and mood improves while test scores and comprehension increase. Research also shows us that when a child receives a breakfast it improves their overall nutrient consumption and positive attitudes towards eating breakfast – positive attitudes that help foster lifelong healthy eating habits.
Imagine starting every day hungry, unable to focus on what your teacher is saying over your growling stomach and pounding headache. Unfortunately for too many Canadian children, this is a reality. When a child is hungry it is hard to learn, and yet 1 million Canadian children – that’s 1 in 6 – face hunger every year.
The Solution to ending hunger in and around schools and our communities is quite simple and is as follows.
If we can have a Starbucks on every corner we can have a garden on every other. I have proved to my self a number of times now how easy it is to become food independent and I am not just talking about growing food, I am talking about close loop food systems that involve animals, birds, goats, chickens, ducks, fish and even insects. Creating food systems that not only provide food to communities they repair soil, they clean the air, they provide food security and lessen the need to import our food. I can and have rais