Tag Archives: cuts

British Columbia Trucking Industry Facing Drastic Cuts to Training Programs

The following email was sent to the Premier Gordon Campbell and other cabinet members (and cc’ed) to us by Randy A. Eckert the President of Saferway Driver Training School Ltd.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Statistics Canada, Transport Canada, Canadian Trucking Alliance, British Columbia Trucking Association, Ontario Trucking Association, Private Motor Truck Council, Teamsters Canada, Unique Personnel Services Inc. are all on the same page with the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council (CTHRC) Report.

However, the influential party NOT on the same page as those listed above, Premier Campbell and the BC Liberals. The concern? That the BC Liberals are moving the trucking industry backwards by implementing drastic cuts on British Columbia’s Employment Insurance (EI) Training Benefits.

I am requesting that immediate action be taken on the drastic cut on British Columbia’s Employment Insurance (EI) Training Benefits.

AMBER Education Services Ltd. Website in BOLD letters reads.

Please note:

Due to a recent update in the contract that Amber Education Services Ltd. holds with the Ministry of Housing and Social Development, the maximum tuition support is $4,000 per intervention or Return to Work Action Plan.

This is another blow to an already devastated Trucking Industry and the economy.

What do these cuts mean?

Drastic cut in training programs!

Training may be just enough to get a Class One (editor adds; that is a Driver’s License Class One that licenses a driver to drive virtually anything on our roads) student licensed!  They would not be industry ready, costs escalating to employers’ and the general public.

Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council (CTHRC) summary report state; Driver Quality is a Key Issue in driver turnover, and demand

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Additional training is needed for new entrants to the industry to improve their driving skills and performance on the job.

Almost 60% of the trucking industry’s employers say that today’s driver shortage is one of their top two concerns, up from the 50% who felt that way in 2002.

The driver shortage is widely described as a lack of “qualified” personnel.

Listed in the acknowledgments of Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council summary report is:

  • Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
  • Statistics Canada
  • Transport Canada
  • Canadian Trucking Alliance
  • British Columbia Trucking Association
  • Ontario Trucking Association
  • Private Motor Truck Council
  • Teamsters Canada
  • Unique Personnel Services Inc.

BC Trucking Association (BCTA) states; The trucking industry is a major employer in its own right employing over 400,000 people directly and supporting several tens of thousands more. Current forecasts suggest the industry is facing a major shortage of qualified truck drivers and related occupations in the years ahead, making it an attractive place for existing and future workers looking for an interesting, well-paying and secure career. 

Public safety being jeopardized;  I have been qualified by The Supreme Court and Provincial Court of British Columbia as an expert witness and have also provided professional opinion reports to various agencies in regard to different traffic accidents.  Operator/Driver error was a major contributing factor as a cause of these incidents. 

Why is British Columbia going backwards compromising the economy and safety? 

I am available to discuss the issue on the drastic cuts to British Columbia’s Employment Insurance (EI) Training Benefits.  I am looking forward to an immediate response to this letter. 

Randy A. Eckert


Saferway Driver Training School Ltd. 905 – B Esquimalt Rd. Victoria, BC, V9A 3M7

Editor’s note; there has been no word, as of yet,  if the requested meeting has actually taken place as of yet. We will endeavour to keep our reader informed of any updates on this file. We will also be making our own inquiries to the government and the opposition New Democrats to see what more there is to this story.

BC Liberals Cut Skills Development Employment Benefits Program

At a time when you might think that the BC Liberals would be investing heavily in developing the skills of BC’s workforce, they have instead decided to cut skills training; the Skills Development Employment Benefits program was told to rein in spending on all retraining programs and to cap all tuition funding effective immediately.

“The SDEB program provides invaluable support for unemployed British Columbians on Employment Insurance to retrain so they can transition within the labour market,” said Nicholas Simons, a New Democrat critic for social development. “However, service providers were told late last week that the program is out of money, with no word of further funding. News of the funding cuts came late Friday afternoon, a time typically used by provincial governments to release news that they do not want publicized.

“By capping funding the B.C. Liberals are not only putting up major road blocks for unemployed British Columbians, but forcing those already in programs and without the financial means to quit mid-semester.”

Simons says New Democrat MLA offices across the province have been flooded with calls from distraught constituents who have either applied to or are currently in SDEB-funded programs.

“We’re hearing from people in every region of the province who say they will be greatly impacted by the major cuts to tuition funding,” said Simons, MLA for Powell River – Sunshine Coast.

“From laid-off forestry workers to care aides, these are all British Columbians who are trying their best to retrain within a changing labour market and to make ends meet during most difficult economic times.”

New Democrat MLAs across the province have been raising their concerns with Rich Coleman, the Minister responsible.

“In the North Island we know the real impact of changes in the forest industry and the hard side of the economic downturn,” said Claire Trevena, MLA for North Island. “Now is the time we should be investing in people, not short-changing them like the BC Liberals are doing.”

“These cuts will impact tens of thousands of unemployed workers in the central interior, one of the regions with the highest unemployment rates in the province,” said Bob Simpson, MLA for Cariboo North.

“Our best resource is our people,” said Simons. “The BC Liberals must recognize that investing in British Columbians is paramount to moving towards a more stable economy.”

The BC Liberal Index, Fall 2009


Fall 2009

With apologies to HARPER’S

  • Amount consumers will have to fork over for the HST: $1.9 billion
  • Tourism jobs that will be lost due to the HST: 10,000
  • Restaurant industry jobs that will be lost due to the HST: 12,000
  • Number of HST-free Christmases left: 1, unless we stop the HST
  • Number of B.C. Liberals it would take to vote down the HST: 7
  • Cost of the HST for B.C. schools: almost $40 million
  • B.C. surgeries cancelled this year: between 9,860 and 15,500
  • Funding cut from Parent Advisory Councils on first day of school: $6.7 million
  • Number of full-time jobs lost in B.C. over the last year: 76,900
  • Amount B.C. Ferries CEO David Hahn makes each year: over $1,000,000
  • Number of trains B.C. Rail CEO Kevin Mahoney is paid $494,182 to manage: 0
  • Amount the B.C. Liberals spent on advertising for the LiveSmart program before the election: more than $7 million
  • Months after the election until the B.C. Liberals cancelled LiveSmart: 3
  • B.C. Liberals’ increase to maximum weekly online gambling limit: $120 to $9,999
  • Funding cut for gambling prevention programs: 34 per cent
  • Planned cut to arts funding next year: nearly 85 per cent
  • Jobs lost in the forest industry since the election: more than 1,500
  • Sockeye missing in 2009 from the Fraser River: 9 million
  • Escaped Atlantic salmon from B.C. open-net fish farms in 2009: 172,000
  • Years in a row the B.C. Liberals have had worst record in Canada on child poverty: 6
  • Cost of Olympic tickets purchased for B.C. Liberal MLAs and Crown corporations: nearly $2.4 million
  • Number of Special Olympics athletes that could have been supported for $2.4 million: 7,000

Figures cited are the latest available as of November 2009. “B.C. Liberal Index” is not a registered trademark.

B C G E U 0 7 0 1

Vancouver Opera on the cuts to BC arts

An email received from the Vancouver Opera about the BC Liberals’ cuts BC arts programs:

Dear Friends of the Arts,

You may have already received this email but it is imperative that we get this message out to as many supporters as possible. Please forward to family and friends.

As you know, the arts across British Columbia have suffered extreme funding cuts from the BC government.  While difficult to gauge exactly, the best reading of the situation tells us that potentially the arts will suffer an 85% – 90% cut over two years.  This is the result of extreme cuts to the British Columbia Arts Council as well as gaming fund cuts.

We must send a message to the government that these cuts are massive, destructive, out of proportion and unacceptable.  The government must hear from YOU:  consumers of culture, donors, and concerned citizens.

Please follow the link to send a clear message – easily!  Your message WILL BE SENT AUTOMATICALLY to Premier Gordon Campbell, Kevin Krueger, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, Rich Coleman, Minister of Housing and Social Development, Colin Hansen, Minister of Finance, and your MLA.

Speak Out About BC Arts Cuts | Alliance For Arts and Culture

We must have a groundswell of opposition to these drastic cuts in arts and culture funding; please do your part to preserve BC’s strong cultural and arts environment.

Many thanks.

2009-2010 Season

James W. Wright
General Director, Vancouver Opera

Fraser Health cancelling surgeries in favour of imported patients?

The other day we were sitting around the Editorial Board Table pondering the news that the BC Liberals underfunding of health-care in the Fraser Health region (or whatever they call it this week) was forcing the Fraser Health Authority to cancel “elective” surgeries and close operating rooms. The point made at our table was that this move was going to be very unpopular with the doctors who work in that region because cancelled surgeries equals a cut in the earnings of the province’s doctors. And one thing the BC Liberals appear to not want to do is piss off the doctors and nurses of this province. 

So we were wondering how these cutbacks to the doctors’ earnings were going to be managed by the provincial government. And then today the answer arrived; bring in out-of-province patients who need hip and knee replacement surgery. But these patients are from other provinces, patients who have their medical procedures paid for by outside agencies, like other provinces.

Health Minister Kevin Falcon has confirmed that BC is negotiating with other provinces to have 400 medical procedures brought to the idle BC operating rooms. This importing will keep the BC doctors’ pay flowing and possibly earn some revenue for the province. Great stuff for the doctors and the province, sucks to be you if you are a BC resident waiting for a hip or knee replacement.

Maybe that Saskatchewan program that was trying to get ex-pat Saskatchewan residents to move home can add another benefit to the advantages of living on the prairies…fast access to BC health-care services.

Latest Campbell cuts

In response to the latest cuts that the Campbell Liberals are inflicting on BC, beleaguered literary organizations are forming the Coalition for the Defence of Writing and Publishing in British Columbia. This comes one day after the Arts & Culture branch of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture & the Arts (Hon. Kevin Krueger) simultaneously removed all funding from the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia ($45,000), BC BookWorld newspaper ($31,000) and B.C. Association of Magazine Publishers ($20,000) via phone calls from its executive director Andrea Henning, on October 6.

“Thus far they have chopped off three heads,” says Alan Twigg, publisher of BC BookWorld for twenty-one years, “but indications are that more heads will roll.”

And the slow and painful cuts continue to inflict themselves. The peculiar thing about the cumulative effect of these cuts is that they are all leading to the end of the Campbell reign. What a slow and agonizing way to end the Campbell regime.

For more info: http://www.books.bc.ca