Monday, September 14, 2009

With one hand the Liberal government honours school coaches, while they take away their funding with the other one

The ongoing flow of mixed messages out of Victoria these days outlines just how disorganized the government seems to be in coping with their declining financial picture and the very real needs of the communities that are being affected by their cutbacks.

In what is perhaps one of the better examples of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, the BC Government is about to suffer another round of embarrassing media offerings, this as they prepare to honour those coaches that give of their time in the province's schools.

As Vaughn Palmer outlined on CKNW this morning (735-745 AM), it will be BC High School Coaches week next week in British Columbia, a week of provincial recognition for those that provide after school instruction and mentoring in sport.
That recognition comes just one week after Education Minister Margaret McDiarmid found herself in the media storm after she famously outlined how students facing a reduction of their after school sports could just take a walk in the park or go dancing.

Those cutbacks coincide with a change of funding for a communitylink program which provides for healthy food options for those on limited incomes and counselling for those students who struggle at school.

And the lack of vision on their own agenda continues as the cutbacks have been announced, just one week after the province highlighted it's dedication to recognizing "Spirit schools", all part of the build up to the 2010 Olympics and the province's goal of becoming the "healthiest place to ever host and Olympic or Paralympic games". That being a companion initiative to go with their much trumpeted Healthy Schools programs and seems to follow along with the governments thoughts through the Act Now BC program.

The approach to those initiatives all seem a little distant at the moment, by cutting funding for those activities that promote healthy living and physical activities the government is showing a lot of talk, but very little concrete action on the way to its goals.

The government it seems just isn't understanding how their mixed messages are resonating around the province, highlighting a government agenda that has no particular direction and offers up conflicting guidelines at every turn.

Minister McDiarmid may be recommending dancing as an option for our youth, but right now it's the Government that is doing all the dancing, a rather uncoordinated tap dance, one with not much rhythm and full of mis-steps.

Globe and Mail-- NDP lining up to shoot down B.C. minister's athletics comments
Vancouver Sun-- Education minister defends sports cutbacks
Victoria Times Colonist-- A remarkably bad string of school cuts
Victoria Times Colonist-- Sports cuts show leaders out of touch

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