Today the B.C. Liberals proved once again that they are a government in chaos that cannot get their facts straight about PAC funding and gaming grants.
While defending their decision to eliminate gaming grant funding for playgrounds, the B.C. Liberal Minister for Housing and Social Development, Rich Coleman, said:
“Before question period I thought I'd go back and look at the program that the NDP had in place for PACs and DPACs across the province of British Columbia during their tenure. There wasn't one. There was no program whatsoever.”
When confronted by the truth that PACs have had access to gaming grants since 1998, when the practice was established by the then-New Democrat government (Report on Charitable Gaming and Access to Gaming Revenue 1998/99 Fiscal Year http://www.llbc.leg.bc.ca/public/pubdocs/bcdocs/335584/1998_1999.pdf) he then backpedaled.
The claim: “A few PACs in B.C. had applied from sophisticated schools for grant funding, and what happened? Schools in inner cities, schools that were in rural British Columbia, schools across the province weren't getting any money.”
The truth: The New Democrat government gave $26 million in targeted funding to schools through gaming grants in 1998/1999, more than twice the $12 million being provided by the B.C. Liberal government this year.
In addition, in 1998/1999 the B.C. New Democrat government gave a total of $160 million dollars in gaming grants to community organizations— that is $40 million more in gaming grants than community organizations are receiving from the B.C. Liberal government this year, despite the fact that gaming revenue has increased dramatically.
Carole James and the New Democrats have been holding the B.C. Liberals accountable for breaking their word on the HST, and for backtracking on their election promises to protect health care, education, and other vital services.