Increasing Accessibility for People with Disabilities Consultations- BC Poverty Reduction Coalition
Information from the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition:
Not even a full month into the new year, and we already have important news for you! The BC government has launched a consultation process on the challenges people with disabilities face. Please take a moment to participate online, in writing or in person at one of the community meetings around the province.
These consultations were an election promise, so it’s good to see politicians following through and listening to people throughout BC. We are joining with the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities (BCCPD) and the Disability Rights group of BC ACORN (and many others) to tell the government that the disability rates need to be increased immediately! Please help to ensure that this critical message is heard by our elected leaders.
Thanks, Trish & Gill
BC Government Disability Consultation
BC’s provincial government recently announced that they will host the Increasing Accessibility for People with Disabilities Consultations (http://engage.gov.bc.ca/disabilitywhitepaper/), a series of public sessions to hear from communities about the challenges people with disabilities face, in preparation for issuing a “white paper,” a report that will serve as the basis for a provincial summit on the issue later in the year.
Please join us in calling for a raise of PWD benefits to $1200 and establishing a shelter allowance like the seniors SAFER program.
For more information, check out the report “Overdue: The case for increasing the Person with Disabilities (PWD) Benefit in BC” (http://www.bccpd.bc.ca/dwpnetwork.htm) that the BCCPD published in partnership with SPARC BC, Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS), Inclusion BC and Canada Mental Health Association (BC Division).
BC’s current disability benefit rate of $906/month (in red on the graph below) is completely inadequate and falls short of all poverty measures, including the most stringent possible. In comparison, Alberta’s PWD rate is now $1588.
Please also join us in calling for an end to the clawback of child support payments from PWD benefits.
Again, we’re partnering with the BCCPD and BC ACORN on this issue, as well as First Call, WestCoast LEAF, and CLAS (see their letter to government: http://tinyurl.com/lxxovjd). Currently, child support is taken off dollar for dollar from the income assistance benefit. The provincial government is depriving children of their right to child support by taking that money away from children who live in lone-parent families on assistance – some of the most vulnerable children in the province.
You can make your voice heard by submitting your comments online or by mail, or attend one of the community consultations running until February 26, 2014. Please check this list of dates and venues to find the one closest to you: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/disabilitywhitepaper/