LETTER: Mental-health care lacking

The stabbing of 13-year-old Letisha Reimer and her friend ...

The stabbing of 13-year-old Letisha Reimer (deceased) and her friend in Abbotsford Nov. 1 happened in conjunction with, and as a direct result of, seriously inadequate mental health services available to the people of B.C. It is no secret that B.C.’s government has championed lower taxes and stripped human services way past bone-deep.

Taxes are like an insurance policy. Taxes come from everyone, to keep citizens educated, healthy and safe. Safety in Canada is not only good policing, but includes a healthy environment, employment, strong and equal education, health care and an expectation that those who need help will get it.

Do lower taxes really help?

What has this horrific situation cost us so far? How many hours have already gone into the investigation of this crime against these two innocent young girls? An army of first responders – psychologists, social workers, counsellors, educators, medical doctors, nurses, laboratory staff, emergency rooms, ambulances, clergy, police and a host of other professionals such as lawyers, jail guards, kitchen staff, social workers, probation officers and more – will have to fit this extremely expensive situation into their lower-taxes, lower-services budgets, and this B.C. government’s much lower value for the citizens it is supposed to be keeping safe.

What has this horrific situation cost Letisha Reimer, her parents, her friends and classmates? What has it cost the other victim, still in hospital, forever changed?

What has the lack of mental health care cost the accused, Gabriel Klein?

What has this government’s lower-taxes mantra cost all citizens of British Columbia? In my opinion, this horrific situation sits directly on the shoulders of our premier and this cabinet.

Jan Manning

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