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Liberals plan to rein in spending


B.C. government won’t slash but it won’t spend either, says provincial finance minster


By The Canadian Press


VICTORIA — Finance Minister Kevin Falcon says he plans to introduce a tight-fisted budget on Tuesday that holds the reins on spending during turbulent eco- nomic times and helps pave the way for a balanced budget next year, an election year.


His message heading into budget day is somewhat more positive than his tone last fall when Falcon pro- vided an economic update that in- cluded a budget deficit forecast of $3.1 billion and public suggestions that British Columbia may not reach its legal balanced budget target for the 2013-2014 budget year.


Falcon


But he’s been sounding more con- fident lately, suggesting that holding tight on Tuesday’s budget and emerg-


ing signs of economic improvements will allow him to balance the books over the next year.


“We are going to make sure we continue our tradi- tion of being fiscally disciplined to ensure we get back to balanced budget in 2013-2014 and retain our triple-A credit rating, the highest a government can receive,” Falcon told The Canadian Press.


Falcon said the government won’t be slashing pro- grams in the budget, but he suggested there won’t be much in terms of spending increases either. “We’re not going to do that,” he said. “We will pro- tect critical spending as we always have in health care and education, but we are going to maintain discipline right across government.”


The government recently increased spending by $40 million for its maligned program to help disabled adults and added $15 million for community gaming grants, but it’s sticking to its pledge not to give striking B.C. teachers a wage increase, which the employer costs at $2 billion.


Many other B.C. public service worker union con- tracts expire this year, and so far, the Liberals have suggested they are open to some kind of wage increase, but without increasing overall spending.


Continued on page A4 Bliss Canada


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J.P. SQUIRE/The Daily Courier


Natalia Kammerer from Vanderhoof used a pool cue to sink a ball at Dave’s Sports Bar during the 25th annual Kinsmen Pub Putt for Cystic Fibrosis on Sunday.


By J.P. SQUIRE The Daily Courier


K


elly Woywitka didn’t care that someone forgot the putter, usually a necessary imple- ment for putting a golf ball. The district (B.C.) governor for Kinsmen used a pool cue, then her fin- gers to sink a golf ball at Dave’s Sports Bar in Rutland during the 25th annual Kinsmen Pub Putt for Cystic Fibrosis on Sunday.


When she stopped laughing and get- ting ribbed by her teammates attired in referee uniforms, Woywitka described Saturday night’s Founders Dinner as much more serious with a message about why fighting cystic fibrosis has become a national project of Kin Canada.


More than a year ago, local Kinsmen bought a percussion vest for a young woman in Kelowna with CF, said Woywitka. A percussion vest, which is worth $12,000-$15,000, vibrates on the


chest and forces secretions from the bottom of the lungs.


The girl, now 20, attended the Founders Dinner on Saturday to show everyone her vest and she started to cry when describing the past year. “She said: ‘It’s changed my life.’ She cried; we all cried. That’s what makes you come back (for Pub Putts). Her mom had to be with her six hours a day and the girl can actually be without her mom now. She can get her own apart- ment,” said Woywitka.


“She’s been well through two winters since we’ve given it to her. Usually she’s sick and on IV medications be- cause of lung infections. She couldn’t clear the secretions which attract bacteria.”


When doctors conducted an earlier pulmonary function test, the girl’s lungs had only 50 per cent lung capacity due to the buildup of secretions. But thanks to the vest, her lungs are now at 80 per cent.


“We all did special fundraisers to do


that. We would rather donate to re- search because we want to find a cure. But at the end of the day, we need to help some kids in order for them to have a life, to go to university. Kelowna alone has given away five vests in the past five years,” said Woywitka. The turning point for her was meeting a six-year-old Victoria boy with cystic fibrosis several years ago. “Carter’s dream was to grow up. At our service dinners every year, they give us a bag of pills, candies. That’s how many pills each one of these kids has to take in or- der to survive this disease,” she said. When Wowitka first joined Kinsmen, the life expectancy of a baby diagnosed with CF wasn’t that old but it is now 49 years. “So they can grow up; they can get a job; they can get married; and they can have children. They still have a short life but maybe one day, not so much. So I’m hooked just because of the little people.”


Continued on page A4 Injured Serwa recovering after surgery


Operation to repair torn ACL a success, says champion skier


By J.P. SQUIRE The Daily Courier


Wise Counsel


Telephone 250-763-4323 www.doakshirreff.com


Wise words


Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children. – George Bernard Shaw


Three weeks after knee surgery, Kelsey Serwa has had a week of physiotherapy and can already make full rotations on an exercise bike.


The reigning ski cross world champi- on and X Games gold medalist ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her left knee during a race in Alpe d’Huez, France on Jan. 11. She won the first two World Cup races of the season and was leading the overall standings when she landed awkwardly during the women’s final.


“The surgery was good. Apparently, I still have a tiny bit of my ACL connected. It was a best-case scenario because they could use that as a guide so my new ACL is in the exact same place as the old one. So I won’t have any complications in terms of tracking or anything like that,”


medial meniscus, a semi-circular band of cartilage around the knee which is of- ten damaged by twisting.


“It wasn’t pinched or slapping out or anything so they didn’t have to remove any. They just sewed it back together,” she explained. But that means no twist- ing of her knee while it heals. “I won’t be able to do full workouts, work out normally, for four months. That’s pretty standard. I just have to be more careful with it so I don’t tear that stitch.” Her internal stitches are trying to work their way out, she added, so she was examined by McConkey on Wednesday and also saw her personal physician.


File photo


Kelowna skier Kelsey Serwa works out in this 2010 file photo. Serwa is in phys- iotherapy, recovering from a season- ending injury.


said the 22-year-old Kelowna athlete from Whistler this week.


During her surgery in Squamish on Jan. 30, orthopedic surgeon Dr. J. Patrick McConkey also found a split in Serwa’s


“They’re supposed to be dissolving stitches after it’s healed together but my body doesn’t like them. Apparently it’s pretty common. They’re meant to stay for a few weeks at least. One of my cuts has opened and the stitch is kind of pok- ing out a little bit. It will come out on its own. One of them is a little bit itchy,” said Serwa.


Continued on page A4


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