For immediate release
May 15, 2014
Cities of Vancouver and New Westminster call for
BC Social Policy Framework
Vancouver— May 14, 2014 the Vancouver City Council unanimously passed a resolution calling “upon the premier to begin a consultation with British Columbians to initiate the development of a Social Policy Framework that will set out key policy directions, values, priorities, roles and expectations, and guide the creation of public policy to meet our social needs now and into the future.”
The City of New Westminster passed a similar resolution on May 12, 2014 and Surrey, Burnaby and Victoria are slated to address this idea over the coming weeks.
Three BC municipalities—Duncan, Nelson and Campbell River—have already endorsed the concept.
A Social Policy Framework (SPF), like the one recently passed in Alberta, lays out the social goals that government, communities and social services agencies are striving for. It can guide decision making, set future direction, identify important connections, and support the alignment of policies and practices both inside and outside government. A SPF helps government address the increasingly complex issues facing BC communities more effectively and efficiently.
Board Voice Chair Michael Davis has been a vocal advocate for a made in BC SPF. “Our province is stronger when every individual and every community can contribute to their highest ability,” says Davis. “A SPF can help us define the kind of province we all want to live in, and help us get there.”
He adds that if we want to solve some of our most pressing and longstanding social issues, we need the kind of coordinated goals, strategies and measurable outcomes a SPF would provide. “If we want to address complex issues like mental health and addiction, or child poverty, we need many government ministries and non-profits and communities to work together,” says Davis. “A SPF gives us a structure to do that effectively.”
While the province is not bound to follow the resolutions of city councils, Davis thinks the growing chorus of voices will eventually be heard. “Groups as diverse as the Surrey Board of Trade and the BC Association of Social Workers are calling for a Social Policy Framework,” says Davis. “We think Premier Clark will hear them.”
For more information:
Vancouver Resolution: Moved by Andrea Reimer and seconded by Kerry Jang
WHEREAS the Board Voice Society of B.C. is a provincial organization of volunteer governors of community social service organizations dedicated to advocating for better services for people, bringing community leaders together to improve the health and wellness of their communities and improving governance:
WHEREAS in 2013 the Board Voice Society initiated a campaign to develop a comprehensive Social Policy Framework for British Columbia, modelled on the success of a social policy framework developed by the community and adopted by the Alberta Provincial Government (http://socialpolicy.alberta.ca/)
WHEREAS the importance of a comprehensive social policy framework to Vancouverites is validated by the City’s own decision to move forward with the Healthy City for All policy framework currently in its final round of community consultation
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Council forward the following motion to the 2014 Union of BC Municipalities Annual General Meeting
WHEREAS every British Columbian depends on social services, health care, justice and education services;
AND WHEREAS our communities are partners in the delivery of many of these services and are facing increasingly complex social challenges requiring coordination between multiple social ministries of government, municipalities and the community agencies and organizations that deliver services to the public;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the municipal governments of British Columbia call upon the Premier to begin a consultation with British Columbians to initiate the development of a Social Policy Framework that will set out key policy directions, values, priorities, roles and expectations, and guide the creation of public policy to meet our social needs now and into the future.