Editorial: Red tape

It’s a head-shaker to consider what the province has in mind to finance adult basic education courses at institutions

No one likes red tape. As the provincial government itself says, “reducing red tape benefits all British Columbians. For citizens it means fast, easy access to services – saving you time.”

So it’s a head-shaker to consider what the province has in mind to finance adult basic education courses offered at institutions such as Northwest Community College (NWCC).

Up until now, the province has provided an annual grant to NWCC to offers those courses at no charge.

But now it wants people taking those courses to pay tuition if they can afford it. Those below a certain level of income can apply to the province for assistance.

Sounds fairly reasonable so far except it means more bureaucracy and more forms for those applying and for the college, more employee hours – and cost – to sift through those applications.

So what should be a fairly uncomplicated way to obtain a basic education will turn into another bureaucratic box wrapped up in red tape.

But perhaps that’s what the province has had calculated all along – make things so complicated that fewer people then enrol.

In this way, the province still offers the program but at a reduced cost. It also downloads administration expenses to the college. The province wins. The college loses and, more importantly, so do prospective students. And helping those people is supposed to have been the goal.