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October 27, 2017 6:36 pm

More Dollars for BC Emergency Health Services

Thursday, March 9, 2017 @ 5:52 AM

Prince George, B.C.-  The Province has announced it is boosting the budget for  the BC Emergency Health Services  but  the  details on where those  services  will be  delivered  have  yet to be determined.

BCHES will  get  an additional $91.1 million added to its budget over the next three years, plus  $4 million in immediate funding for  equipment such as  carbon monoxide monitors, stretchers, safety kits and visibility gear.

The extra dollars are  supposed to  be used to  improve emergency response  in rural  and urban regions by  providing  more ambulances,  paramedics and dispatchers.

Exact locations have yet to be finalized for the additional ambulances,  but  so far,  BCEHS says  6 of them will be stationed in the Lower Mainland “along with additional resources in the Interior.”

To improve rural services, BCEHS will expand the capacity of air ambulance service in the northeastern part of the province, add more permanent part-time and full-time paramedic positions and offer enhanced training and roles for paramedics. Specific allocations and locations are still to be determined.

Rural areas  can also expect more stable paramedic staffing, as a  new hourly wage  comes into effect  in April  for  part- time paramedics and other front line  employees.


I guess full details will come out if or when the Liberals get re-elected?

Always the way, light comes on when election is near, if the plan had been in the works for years even months the detail would have been rolled out but again its election time and polling dictates were to through out some money. More to come for sure taxpayers have lots of money.

However cynical we may be as to the reasons for this announcement, its a good use of the money.


The BC Liberals drove BC into an additional $40 Billion (including BC Hydro) in debt over the last 16 years, despite making a campaign promise to make BC Debt Free during the last election campaign. No more promised LNG pipe dreams, no promised Trillion dollar Prosperity Fund, no promised 40,000 LNG Jobs.

No, this year no more promises, their strategy this year is to buy the election using our tax dollars.

    “The BC Liberals drove BC into an additional $40 Billion (including BC Hydro) in debt..”

    -NDP..”Oh really, Hold my beer and watch this..”

    Despite LNG, BC continues to have one of the best performing economies in the country, maintains a high credit rating, is one of the few ‘have’ provinces, and is the best province to.live in… but that last one is just my opinion. :p

    Lol, BC Hydro’s “debt” is in contracts it has signed with power producers. So if I have billy-bob-human mow my lawn on a regular basis for 50 bucks a shot/week (30 weeks a year maybe) and he has a lifespan of 40 more years, I now have 60,000.00 debt?

      LOL, BC debt is “NOT” on its contractual obligations, but thanks for bringing that up slinky.

      “Virtually every person we have spoken with has had no idea that on top of the $70 billion in liabilities (debt + other liabilities), that the government disclosed a year ago, there is an additional $96.374 billion in contractual obligations. That translates into a total debt of approximately “$170 BILLION” and will be significantly more when the 2012/13 financial reports are presented. In the last eleven years under the BC Liberal government the provincial debt has increased by a factor of 5 times, or to a per capita amount of about $40,000.”

      Remember, the per capita amount of debt for every man, woman, and child living in BC was $8,428, at the end of the BC NDP term, since then under the BC Liberals it has grown to more than $40,000 each!!!

      ht tp://commonsensecanadian.ca/bc-liberal-legacy-a-huge-debt-burden/

      BH – you complain about how much debt they’ve incurred, and then you complain they don’t have a child poverty reduction program – which if they did, would add more debt. Can you give us some sense of how the NDP will manage to fund every imaginable social program you’ve asked for, all the while doing little to no harm to the environment, all the while welcoming every refugee that wants to come into the province, all the while keeping the cost of every government service down, all the while increasing wages for teachers and funding for education, all the while negotiating with very union that got them elected to keep government salaries in check.

      I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about this, but you can’t suck and blow on a straw at the same time. So far all you’ve managed to prove is that Christy bet on LNG and it didn’t happen. What is the NDP betting on to provide the cash necessary for your spending wishlist – all the while, not incurring even more debt?

      I know, tax corporations, because you don’t get it, most corporate dividends flow to pension plans which flow to seniors, so tax on corporations is a tax on seniors.

      And you can raise taxes on the 1% if you want, but many of them are health professionals with very mobile skills. So get use to waiting 4 years for your government funded hip transplant as only the mediocre orthopedic surgeons will stay.

      Ski, it’s no use, we’ve all tried ‘splaining. Seems to get bogged down with “trusted” media sources.

      Wrong BH, the 70 billion includes IPP power contracts. BC Hydro debt is 18.1 billion. It has borrowed money to pay the annual dividend since … what date now…? 1992 when the NDP decided to place mandatory dividends on BC Hydro.

    But, the NDP were worse.

    Guess what P1, get used to it for the next 4 years!

Totally ‘hold my beer and watch this’, I agree! Typical answer from Been Human, seems that he should start his own Social Service party! Oh wait, NDP! And they can do better? ALL parties dole out, especially before elections, NDP is not special as they would do the same thing! Keep trucking BC!!

    Not that I would ever vote NDP, it would be interesting to review the NDP’s election platform! Oh wait a minute, does the NDP have an election platform? Has anybody bothered to tell John Horgan that BC will be going to the polls on May 9th?

    Hello John!


    Hello John??


    Wake up John!


      They’re probably still infighting over it. One group wants to present an electable platform and another group wants to present a platform that makes a statement – i.e., let’s shut everything that hurts the environment. Once the infighting is done, they’ll present a bland vague platform that will once again crown Christy Clark Queen of B.C.

      Perhaps the NDP should consider splitting the electable part from the un electable part and let them join the Greens. It would be nice to have a viable second option.

      Oh, sorry Mr. Hart, yeah this is John. I was on the phone trying to find a farmer/logger, married with children, goes to church on Sundays for out west there, 2 months and no luck. Uh, yeah, elections getting close, I know. Gotta go find my people, think they went south for the winter. Should be back in time, thanks for the call…

It seems to me to be a bit mean spirited that this need has existed 4 years of the mandate and now that we’re three months from an election – bam, the cash is here. People have suffered, had poorer outcomes, and died over the last 4 years because of under funding in this area. I sure hope they didn’t save up all these goodie announcements just to sound good in the last months of their mandate. This one should’ve been done in the first 100 days, not the last.

“Rural areas can also expect more stable paramedic staffing, as a new hourly wage comes into effect in April for part- time paramedics and other front line employees.”

This sounds good on paper, what it means is that full-time staff had a different hourly rate of pay than part-time staff and they are phasing part-time staff to have the same pay rate (same qualifications and same job = same pay). However, this is part of the last collective bargaining agreement, and not because the BC Liberals suddenly care about rural EHS.

The real challenge to staffing and retention is that rural and remote stations usually only hire part-time on-call staff. Wage parity with full-time only counts if the crew gets paged out. Otherwise it’s $2-hour pager pay. It’s very hard to staff an ambulance service when the paramedics can’t tell from one week to another if they will work enough to pay their bills. We lose those employees to other jobs or they eventually transfer to urban stations.

That said, PHSA (the health authority that runs BCEHS) have been showing signs that they are working on improvements for the rural and remote paramedics. There’s talk of creating more **permanent** part-time and full-time positions, which may help to give some stability to staff that hasn’t ever existed.

    Thanks for this information PGCoffeAddict, did not know part of the funding increase was actually to cover negotiated contract increases in pay, don’t know why the BC Liberals did not just come out and say this in their press release. More spin I suppose.

    Though far too infrequent on this site, it’s refreshing to read fact based comments such as yours.

Did you know that the BCAS is not considered an “Essential Service” like Fire or Police? How messed up is that?

    Which is exactly why there is an official Elections BC petition initiative to have that changed!

hey you want the value of your home to devalue, you want to have your employment insecured, you want to watch your hard earned dollars wasted.
Vote for the “No Development Party”. See how wonderful our neighbouring province is doing, under a Orange flag.

Christie Clarke has not been the strongest premiere we have had, but sure is better than the alternative.

Mercenary, not having Ambulance Services declared “Essential Service” is messed up! Yet a union busting right wing government is willing to entertain declaring teachers and public transit workers essential services, as a way to break strike action…only in a BC Liberal world can this happen.

Hmmm… the “hold my beer” crowd seems active on here today.

    It seems the BC Liberal practice is to not declare anything an essential service until they want to force a union back to work or legislate an negotiated contract on them.

    And the BC Liberals do not need Paramedics to be an essential service as long as their contract is negotiated along with hospital custodial staff and other hospital employee contacts as part of a Facilities Bargaining Association. They get outvoted by other unions.

Seems there is not a lot of thought going into some comments. Especially when it relates to the Liberals, and how good the Province is doing.

The Province may be doing well in the lower mainland, for work and increases in jobs, but I would suggest that a lot of these jobs are in the housing industry, and the balance are lower level jobs paying just above minimum wage, and of course a large percentage of them would be part time jobs. So the devil is in the details.

Now when we look at the rest of the Province we see an economic disaster. Since 2000 we have lost some 70 lumber mills. In addition we have had pulp mill, paper mill, plywood plants, etc; close. We have lost the BC Rail to CN Rail with huge job losses. We have seen Endako Mines close, Huckleberry Mine close, Fish Cannery in Prince Rupert, close Walter Energy close three coal mines in the Tumbler ridge area. ( 2 are in the process of re-opening with new owners and half the staff)

So a huge disaster. The Liberals may not be entirely to blame, however they certainly created the atmosphere that allowed a lot of this to happen.

Wont go into export of logs at this time.

So forget the BS about how great things are in BC. They are on the brink of disaster, and the Liberals are spending big money to keep us from looking at the real picture.

    We have lost some 20,000 full time jobs during this period, and those people who have found work have basically replaced (to a large degree) someone who has retired.

    So things are not so rosy.

    There is no way in hell that the NDP could have created such a bloody mess of the Province during the same time frame.

    I am no big fan of the NDP however blaming them for s..t that happened during the 90’s is a bit far out, especially when you have a Liberal made in BC disaster staring you in the face.

    Site C and Hydro costs are a disaster.
    LNG was nothing more than lies to get elected.

    This Government is bereft of ideas, and in my opinion should be kicked the hell out of office for a minimum of 4 years, and perhaps longer.

    The days of getting elected on the basis of Christies three H’s is over.

    Hardhat, Hamburger, and a Handshake doesnt cut it any more.

    Wont get into the BC elections investigation.

      Palopu have to agree with you. It appears that some people are blinded by something and can not see what is going on in this province. Maybe the blinding is caused by that highly polished liberal belt buckle that they were given before the last election.

    I would say it is you who is living in a fantasyland, Palopu if you believe we’d be better off under the NDP. Thankfully voters have not let the NDP back in power since the last debacle. Look to Alberta to see how they’re doing. You can’t find anyone there who will admit they voted for them.

      The NDP government in Alberta inherited a huge mess from the previous Conservative government and it will take awhile to get out of that mess. Both the TD and Royal banks predict that Alberta will have the highest GDPs in the country in 2018 and 2019.
      When the Conservatives were in power, they mandated that the oil companies put aside dollars to cover the maintenance of defunct oil wells. The amount set aside was paltry and short sighted. Now that the price of oil is low, some oil companies are just walking away from their non productive wells. So what is in that paltry fund is not near enough to cover the maintenance costs. Fault of the Conservatives, not the NDP.

      Highly skilled health professionals are migrating to Alberta because their wages are better there and have been for awhile. Ultrasonographers for example which leaves us short in BC, particularly in the north. The Liberals refuse to invest in these professions with better wages which leaves us in the north with longer wait times for essential health care. Tell me again how great the Liberals are in BC.

      The NDP always has an excuse. They won’t win again in Alberta. The last time they were in.power in BC, they lost so badly they were reduced to non-party status.

Okay, so unemployment rate average Canada 2016 7% and BC was 6.1%, tied with Manitoba for the lowest of all the provinces.

BC’s median income per family is 76 770, the national is 78,870. We’re 6 out of 12 provinces and territories.

I don’t think you can say a lot of the jobs are minimum wage, or we’d be significantly below the median.

So BC has more people working, for slightly less than the average. So in spite of all these closures, we still managed to have the lowest unemployment rate.

A lot of these mill closures were driven by two factors. Reduction in timber supply, and an ever increasing regulatory and wage cost burden making building new mills unprofitable.

An old mill will keep running as long as it’s bringing in more cash than going out, but a lot of mills went cash negative and closed. I can’t even think of a new mill that’s been built except the one that was paid for by insurance. A new mill costs hundreds of millions, and with the wage cost, power cost, regulatory and environmental rules, who would invest that kind of money. You could probably make more with a GIC than building a new mill in B.C. and trying to get a profit and return of capital.

People like BH would see you made 5 million dollars and scream you don’t pay enough corporate tax, despite the fact you invested 200 million to build the mill, and it’s a paltry 2.5% return on investment.

What a joke! Election in May?

Ski51. Don’t fudge your numbers.

BC median income per family that you quote ie; $76,770. is for a family with two people working. The average wage in BC is $47,914.00. Only NB, NS, PEI,Que,Man., make less than BC. The average for NFLD,Ont. Sask, AB, Yukon, NWT, Nunavut, is higher.

The average wage for the service industry shows a somewhat different story.

Retail $29,398.00
Arts, Entertainment,Recreation $30,396.00
Accomodation/Food Services $19,430.00

Service industries account for roughly 500,000 workers, so we can say without any doubt that the service industry makes up a large percentage of the total workforce in BC. and also would account for most of the increase in employment.

So to suggest that BC is better off than other Provinces is a bit of a stretch.

As far as investing in new mills. Perhaps you could explain why if this is not a good investment that Canfor, West Fraser, Interfor, have bought some 38/40 mills in the US South East, and are investing millions of dollars in these mills. Other lumber companies are doing the same thing.

While they are investing in these mills some of these companies are also exporting logs.

So, if there a shortage of fibre, it is in certain area, and the question is, why cant we move these logs to where they are needed to keep these mills running.

Elucidate please.

    You have to be able to read census tables

    76,770 is the latest data available and is for the year 2014

    Median family total income is not just two people working. Median census family include couple families, with or without children, and lone parent families.

      You’ll have to forgive Palopu. He thinks that BC is such an awful place, but he doesn’t get out much. Looking around the coutry, we are very lucky to be living here and not Ontari-owe (for example).

Ski51 has been reading too much Ayn Rand lately, as his rants are no longer reality based.

In 2014 Statistics Canada said that private non-financial corporations increased their cash holdings to $630-billion in the first quarter of this year — up from $621-billion at the end of 2013. It was nearly two years (2012) since Mark Carney, Canada’s central bank chief until his departure last June to head the Bank of England, ruffled corporate feathers by publicly uttering the phrase “dead money” to describe money sitting idle on balance sheets.

“If companies can’t figure out what to do with it, then they should give it to shareholders and they’ll figure it out,” Mr. Carney told reporters, following a Toronto speech in August 2012.

ht tp://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/canadian-corporate-cash-hoard-rises-to-630-billion-in-first-quarter

Canadian corporations are “hoarding” a record amount of cash, now approaching $1 TRILLION dollars, they are NOT reinvesting it, they are NOT passing it on to their shareholders… yet ski51 has the nerve to say; “I know, tax corporations, because you don’t get it, most corporate dividends flow to pension plans which flow to seniors, so tax on corporations is a tax on seniors.” Ski51 goes on to state; “People like BH would see you made (sic) 5 million dollars and scream you don’t pay enough corporate tax, despite the fact you invested 200 million to build the mill, and it’s a paltry 2.5% return on investment.”

I can repeatedly show how many hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars in “dead money” Canada’s Corporations are sitting on, yet he will continue to squawk about how hard done by his precious corporations are, giving out pathetic examples of corporations investing $200 million in a sawmill, when we all know corporations are investing their money into “nothing”, just sitting on all that nearly $1 TRILLION in dead money!

    If one is to criticize a corporation or corporations for holding, or even hoarding cash, one needs to ask why are they doing so!

    There are times when it might be very prudent to hold cash assets and some businesses have survived and remained in business because of the cash that they had “hoarded”!

    It’s rather simplistic to say a business should reinvest it’s cash without saying or even bothering to ask why they are holding it in the first place!

    I know of a few businesses that “hoarded” cash in a rainy day account just in case it started to rain! They are thankful that they did, as the cash enabled them to survive the “storm” that they went through over the past year or so!

My God, ski51 has us a long way from “more dollars for BC Emergency Health Services” doesn’t he… no surprise though, just read his comments as he introduces multiple subjects in shot gun blast fashion, aiming for nothing in particular, just spewing out new topics for tangent discussion all to obfuscate from the fact; the BC Liberals are trying to buy the upcoming election with our own tax dollars!

Ski is clearly not a professional troll like you BH.

Rusty my boy. I have been out and about in this Country longer than you have been on the face of this earth.

I watched this Country (Northern Interior) grow since I started to work in the mid fifties. I have seen many Governments come and go. I have heard all the BS that was ever in BC Politics, from Wenner Gren and the Rocky Mountain Trench, to the Kemano 2 Tunnel, Site C, and of course LNG.

I can spot a BS political party from miles away, and I can also spot a BS’er from a further distance.

This time around we have many BS’ers that support the latest BS party which is the Liberals,. As previously stated the Liberals are buying our votes with our own dollars.

If you cannot see whats in front of your eyes then you have already lost.

Remember the old saying. **There is none so blind than those who will not see.**

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