EDITORIAL: Careful what you wish for

City of Duncan taking a more active role in the delivery of social services

Although it sounds like a good idea, this one might be from the careful-what-you-wish-for department.

This week, the City of Duncan adopted a resolution calling on the provincial government “to begin a consultation to design a Social Policy Framework for British Columbia.”

The vote came after a group called the Board Voice Society of B.C. made a presentation to Duncan’s city council.

“It’s time for the province to have a coordinated approach to social policy to better focus and coordinate our resources to help individuals and communities thrive,” Duncan Mayor Phil Kent said in a news release about the vote distributed by Board Voice B.C.

Just who, or what, is Board Voice B.C.?

It’s vision statement sounds reasonable enough: “A clear and effective voice for volunteer community-based boards supporting high quality social services and strong vibrant communities.”

Its board chair is Michael Davis, former president of Vancouver’s Non-Partisan Association, a long-standing political organization in that city.

Board Voice B.C. has dozens of members from most regions of the province, generally non-profit organizations that do good work in social services delivery.

Oddly, Board Voice B.C. has no member organizations in our region (Nanoose Bay to Deep Bay).

That may speak volumes about the cohesiveness of our region’s non-profit groups, led by the Society of Organized Services (SOS) and the Salvation Army.

“We are in an enviable position here,” says Renate Sutherland, executive director of the SOS. “We collaborate very well here. We aren’t fighting for the same dollar like they are in other jurisdictions.”

Back to our original thought. Is the City of Duncan trying to be a bigger player in the delivery of social services? In these days of downloading, we’re not sure any municipality wants to poke that bear. It’s our understanding that municipalities have a difficult enough time funding their base responsibilities (potholes and parks, etc.)

Or perhaps Duncan feels the need to do that, and to solicit the advice and help of Board Voice B.C., because they don’t enjoy the expertise and togetherness our non-profits provide.

Either way, we should feel fortunate in Parksville Qualicum Beach.

— Editorial by John Harding

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