Half a million for office makeover, but nothing for sexually abused children
VICTORIA – New Democrats blasted the Campbell government today for spending more than half a million dollars for an office makeover for the Ministry of Children and Family Development while ignoring the needs of sexually abused children.
“The Campbell Liberals seem to care more about their own image than they do about vulnerable children,” said New Democrat Children's Critic Nicholas Simons . "The lives of children will not improve because the Ministry spent almost half a million dollars re-shaping the boardroom and adding artwork."
According to news reports, documents obtained through Freedom of Information show the renovation project went more than $300,000 over budget, for a total cost of $560,120.
New Democrat MLA Adrian Dix challenged Tom Christensen, Minister of Children and Family Development, to explain his priorities.
“This is an outrageous overrun. The minister signed off on it,” Dix said in the Legislature. “Why doesn't he simply admit that his priorities were wrong? He made a mistake, and he shouldn't have approved these fancy renovations and instead should have seen that that money went where it belongs — with children and families in British Columbia.”
Christensen responded that he does not oversee these projects.
“Just yesterday the Minister refused to provide more spending on child sexual abuse programs,” said Simons. “And he also refused to explain why his department tried to hide the truth about their underfunding by censoring public documents.
“It’s clear the Campbell Liberals invest more into their image than they do into providing services to vulnerable children.”