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NEWS RELEASE · 24th March 2010
In a short-sighted move that is contrary to the B.C. Liberals’ stated priorities, the government cut off funding this week for Success By 6, spelling the end of the program and hundreds of other programs in more than 240 communities across British Columbia, New Democrats said today.

Success By 6 B.C. was set up in 2003 in partnership with the United Way as an umbrella organization meant to support early childhood development. Since then, the Credit Unions of B.C. have become integral partners and remain committed to the program.

However, in a letter to program co-ordinators last week, the Early Childhood Development Provincial Partnership, which administers the program, said Success By 6 is “not sustainable without the full involvement of all three partners” and the program would be wound up due to the B.C. Liberal government eliminating funding.

“After six years, the program is finally strong, fully developed, and moving forward on innovative programs that are making a difference in our communities. And now the B.C. Liberals will cancel it outright. It just doesn’t make sense,” said New Democrat children and families critic Maurine Karagianis.

“This year their funding has been cut in half, and the provincial partnership has been advised by the ministry that ‘they will no longer continue funding this initiative beyond 2011.’ The cancellation of this program will have a devastating effect on organizations already stripped to the bone by cuts from this government.”

Karagianis, along with North Coast MLA Gary Coons and Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald, raised concerns in the B.C. legislature today, questioning the wisdom of cancelling the program.

“The cancellation of Success By 6 means that more than 400 front-line community services for families are now on the chopping block,” said Coons, noting that the program has become an indispensable resource for families in rural and aboriginal communities.

“The implications for front-line services for families are massive,” said Macdonald. “Funding received through Success By 6 allowed community organizations to apply for matching grants – now that opportunity is gone, and the survival of many of these services is at risk,”

Success By 6 provides support and funding for more than 400 projects in 240 communities in British Columbia, including early childhood literacy programs, music and social programs for preschoolers, mentorship programs for single mothers, pregnancy support and many more.

Carole James and the New Democrats have been holding the B.C. Liberals accountable for breaking their word on the HST, and for backtracking on their election promises to protect health care, education, and other vital services.