Saskatchewan backtracks on plan to cut funding to community organizations
Published Thursday, August 17, 2017 11:09AM CST
Last Updated Thursday, August 17, 2017 1:23PM CST
REGINA — The Saskatchewan government is backtracking on a planned 10 per cent funding cut to community-based organizations such as mobile crisis services, detox facilities and youth centres.
Health Minister Jim Reiter says the province has decided after a review that it’s not the right move to make.
“The majority of the CBOs that are funded by the Ministry of Health or the health regions are CBOs that do predominantly work in mental health and addictions or HIV. And just the situation we’re in right now, we just felt that that’s not the appropriate place to try to save money,” Reiter said Thursday at the legislature in Regina.
“I think it’s fair to say that we were concerned about outcomes.”
Reiter says the consultation provided a clear picture of services offered and the potential effects on people of any funding cut.
Organizations were worried, he acknowledged.
“And in some cases, some of them made a very good presentation that it could potentially be devastating to them,” he said.
About 60 community organizations received money from health regions this year to provide services such as harm reduction programs, and mental health and addictions support.
Health regions were told earlier this year to develop a plan for the 10 per cent cut to help control spending in the face of a $1.3-billion provincial budget deficit. The cut would have saved about $1.5 million.
Reiter says the ministry will look for savings in other areas.
Health care is the single biggest expenditure in the provincial budget. Spending for health is forecasted to be $5.6 billion in this year’s budget, which has about $14.8 billion in expenses.
The government has already reversed budget plans to cut funding for libraries and for funeral services for poor people after public outcry.
Reiter defended the latest changes.
“A budget by its very nature is targets,” said Reiter.
“You set targets. You don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, revenue or expenditure, so you set targets in the budget and some you succeed, some you overachieve and some you under achieve.”
Sourse : http://regina.ctvnews.ca/saskatchewan-backtracks-on-plan-to-cut-funding-to-community-organizations-1.3550232