The provincial government could be putting discretionary grants to social service agencies on the chopping block. Speaking with reporters today, Finance Minister Colin Hansen acknowledged discretionary grants could be "impacted" by the government's effort to find $1.9 billion in administrative efficiencies over three years. Asked whether grants "impacted" would include those allocated to social service agencies, the minister said, "We're going through all the discretionary grants line-by-line. In some cases, you've got organizations that may be doing great work. But then you realize it's a duplication of what somebody else is doing. So let's find ways to get those groups working together that reduces the administrative cost of delivering that front-line service."
"There are cases where we've identified that there might be dollars going out the door to an organization when, in fact, those services should be provided by front-line government workers. So we're not looking at it from the perspective of whoever has been funded in the past should get funded in the future. We're saying how best can we deliver those services in the most cost-effective way. And I can tell you, just in the last month and a half, there has been many, many, many hours sitting in committee literally going through line by line and you wind up with something that's $5,000. And somebody says, 'Well, it's only $5,000.' And I say, 'No, no. It is $5,000.' It's been a pretty intense process as we've gone through this."