Earlier, we exclusively told you the provincial government is predicting the bureaucracy could be reduced by up to 57 percent as a result of demographic forces. But, at a news conference today, Premier Gordon Campbell said his administration isn't looking at outsourcing or privatization options to address that challenge.
"No," he responded when specifically asked about the issue. "We're looking at strengthening the public service and looking at different and integrated processes that we can use. We've been doing that for the last three years. This is something, frankly, where our public service is far ahead of other public services. I want to be clear it's not because of the political leadership. It's because of the professional public service leadership that we have in British Columbia. We know there's going to be a challenge. The demographic challenge has not gone away because there's an economic challenge right now. That demographic challenge will require us all to examine how we deliver the processes we've got."
"For example, one of the things we've said that we think is important is to try to look at one comprehensive federal/provincial environmental assessment process, one comprehensive federal/provincial First Nations consultation and accommodation process," he continued. "That does require significant shifts. And I don't think anyone should underestimate the challenges of integrating those processes."
"They are always difficult. Ministries are protective - there's a lot of that issue that goes on. There's a lot of siloing that takes place. So it's a constant effort to try to make sure we integrate processes so you get the best services you can for the resources we have. And we need the professional public service. There's no question without the strong, professional public service we'll fall short of delivering the services people depend on."