Steven Palmer is challenging the province’s decision not to fund a $5

A question of a disabled person’s rights

Disabled rights advocate says province not obeying United Nations agreement

A Victoria disabled rights advocate is accusing the provincial government of not following the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities after officials refused to fully fund a specialized wheelchair.

Steven Palmer said despite receiving a doctor’s prescription for a rigid wheelchair, the B.C. government won’t permit spending more than $1,500 on a wheelchair. A rigid wheelchair costs about $5,000.

Rigid wheelchairs provide greater mobility and flexibility for people with physical disabilities, as compared to electric or manual wheelchairs.

“It would make my life so much easier,” Palmer said. “It’s a safer option for maneuvering on the street and when travelling.”

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was signed by Canada in March 2010. Under Section 20, the convention requires signing nations to give disabled people the option, with their doctor, to decide what they need, not based on what government is willing to pay.

Palmer said the federal government has failed to implement the international treaty by requiring provinces to comply with the provisions.

“The convention is a very serious document,” said Palmer, an advocate with the Disabled Rights Alliance, who has lived with polio for more than 60 years.

“The very fact they’ve gotten away with this for so many years and still refuse to acknowledge they are in violation of the convention is disturbing.”

Palmer has received the backing of Victoria MP Murray Rankin and Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming who have called on the federal and provincial governments to properly fund the wheelchair request. So far, no response has been received.

“It’s going to make a big difference in a lot of people’s lives because if we can set a precedent here, and establish the fact the provincial government is obligated to provide this type of equipment, then it’s going to be easier for other people to get the equipment too,” Palmer said.

A spokesman for the B.C. Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation said the ministry’s poicies are consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

•••

According to Article 20,

“Parties shall take effective measures to ensure personal mobility with the greatest possible independence for persons with disabilities, including by:

a.) facilitating the personal mobility of persons with disabilities in the manner and at the time of their choice, and at affordable cost.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Victoria archery club says goodbye to outdoor range in View Royal

Province-owned View Royal property will house handyDART facility

Hotel workers gather in Victoria, demand right to return to work

Workers also asking the government to make sure employers don’t use pandemic to replace them

RCMP cruiser damaged while responding to second of three Sidney crashes

Multiple crashes cause delays in both directions on Highway 17

MISSING: Victoria woman dubbed high-risk, last seen mid-June

Kristy Bolton is known to frequent the Rock Bay area

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

UPDATE: Vancouver Island skydiving community mourns loss of one of its own

James Smith, 34, of Victoria, dies in Nanoose Bay incident

Elizabeth May endorses Furstenau in BC Greens race

Former federal party leader backs Cowichan Valley MLA

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Most Read