PEERS funding a small step forward, but stable, multi-year commitments needed

VICTORIA— Stable, multi-year commitments to organizations like PEERS that make life better and safer for women are required to make lasting progress towards ending violence against women, says New Democrat women’s critic Maurine Karagianis.

“While New Democrats are glad to see the PEERS drop in centre for vulnerable women is being kept open for another year, we’re deeply concerned that next year we’ll be back fighting for this important service to stay open,” said Karagianis. “One-time grants make will not allow PEERS to retain staff, plan for the future, and improve their services. What they need is core funding.

“It’s sad that the government seemed to have no trouble finding $200,000 a year to pay former Liberal minister John Les for patronage appointments when that same amount of money would give PEERS the stable funding they so desperately need.”

She also noted that although $140,000 of Mr. Les’ taxpayer-funded salary has since been revoked, the B.C. Liberals are still spending more than $1.1 million on wages for failed candidates from the last election, B.C. Liberal insiders and former MLAs. That’s $255,000 more than was announced on Thursday for one-time grants to go towards fulfilling recommendations from the Missing Women’s Inquiry.

“If money talks, today’s announcement said the B.C. Liberals think it’s more important to find soft-landings for failed B.C. Liberal candidates and former MLAs than to implement the recommendations of the Missing Women’s Inquiry,” said Karagianis. “Less than 10 per cent of these critically important recommendations aimed at protecting women have seen significant action.”