Civil service driving B.C. into chaos SubscriberWe’re now being forced to spend so heavily on public-service wages and benefits that our civil service in this province can no longer afford to provide us with service.
Elected representatives have failed to rein in the size of government in B.C. With over 60,000 public-service employees raking in salaries close to double what the average worker makes, and receiving gold-plated benefits packages that include lifetime pensions, indexed to inflation, which can kick in as early as age 50, we have finally reached a fiduciary impasse. And to address the problem, the very services these overpaid, underworked civil servants are supposed to provide are being cut.
First, there was the 2011 Stanley Cup riot in which Vancouver’s Chief of Police Jim Chu
ordered his forces to stand down while vandals destroyed the downtown core of one of Canada’s greatest cities. He claimed he didn’t want to make the problem worse, but short of a civil war, it’s difficult to imagine how things could have been worse.
Then came the court cases. Or, more accurately, then didn’t come the court cases. After those who were supposed to protect us failed to do so – still collecting every penny of their salaries and benefits – those who are supposed to subsequently prosecute dangerous criminals followed suit and also failed in their duties.
Imagine this happening in business. Would anyone who failed to do what he was hired to do still be paid? Perhaps the better question is, would he even retain his job?
Chu retained his job without so much as a reprimand, as did everyone in the province’s “justice” system which will finally – 20 months later – bring the first Stanley Cup rioter to trial.
Civil servants in B.C. are untouchable. They can’t be fired; they can’t even have their pay docked or face any kind of disciplinary action, let alone be demoted or admonished in any way. It’s a civil servant’s dream, and a nightmare for taxpayers and property owners.
To compound matters, it now comes to light that B.C. Coroners Service sends corpses to the incinerator before a cause of death can be scientifically verified. Will anyone lose his job at the BCCS? Maybe lose a day’s pay? Nope. Not on your life – literally.
Yes, it’s true Virginia, B.C. has the lowest autopsy rate in Canada. To give just a single, salient example, the body of Dr. Roger Morrison was found back in November in the midst of what police had the good sense to call
“a bloody crime scene.” But BCCS spokesperson Barb McLintock says Morrison’s typed
suicide note was sufficient to rule out homicide, and allow a few bucks to be saved on an autopsy.
Stop and think for a moment, who types a suicide note? Does McLintock expect us to believe Morrison wanted to spell-check and ensure his grammar was all tickety-boo?
What we’re witnessing is the breakdown of civil society. But instead of militants attempting to seize power by undermining the authority of government, British Columbians are besieged by militants already in power who daily undermine the authority of our democratically elected government by eroding the very services they are duty-bound to provide.
In the private sector this would be a firing offence. But in B.C.’s public sector, McLintock’s career, just like that of Chu, will not be subject to so much as a speed bump. And you can bet your bottom tax dollar that regular pay increases and promotions will continue for both.
Our leaders have a choice. Cut the number of positions, along with salaries and benefits in B.C.Ãs civil service, or continue to cut back on the services these “servants” are supposed to provide.
Mischa Popoff is a freelance political writer with a degree in history.
BC Conservatives will significantly increase the legislative scrutiny of the BC public service. http://dld.bz/bccpscrutiny