Interim CEO defends disabled care

As the opposition kept up the political pressure on the B.C. Liberal government to halt the closure of group homes for developmentally disabled people, the interim CEO of the agency responsible held a rare news conference at the B.C. legislature Wednesday.

Community Living B.C. executive Doug Woollard

Community Living B.C. executive Doug Woollard

VICTORIA – As the opposition kept up the political pressure on the B.C. Liberal government to halt the closure of group homes for developmentally disabled people, the interim CEO of the agency responsible held a rare news conference at the B.C. legislature Wednesday.

Doug Woollard was promoted to replace Community Living B.C. CEO Rick Mowles, who was fired last week amid reports of families being pressured to accept home-stay placements instead of group homes with 24-hour staff.

Woollard acknowledged that there have been 15 to 20 cases where CLBC did not consult adequately with the families of clients before changing their living arrangements. He said the intent is to reach agreement with families before changes are made

For one of those cases, the Williams Road group home in Richmond, Woollard gave a specific assurance: “If we don’t reach agreement with the families, we won’t change it.”

Under opposition questioning in the legislature Tuesday, Social Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux announced that her deputy minister, along with deputies from children and family development and the health ministry, are reviewing the way all provincial services go to developmentally disabled people. Cadieux continued to reject the NDP’s call for a moratorium on group home closures, and Woollard agrees.

A moratorium would make the system too inflexible as it deals with rising demand, he said. He confirmed that 65 group homes have closed, leaving 700 more around the province. CLBC has a budget of more than $700 million, and a waiting list of 2,800 people seeking either new or increased service.

Woollard said the government is aware of the demand, and CLBC’s estimate that it would cost between $51 million and $65 million more to meet it all. Part of the demand can be met by providing service at lower cost, and it is up to the government to decide how much to increase the budget, he said.

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

Just Posted

Dog owners walk along Fleming Beach on a sunny day (pre-COVID). (Black Press Media file photo)
Deadline nears for licensing your dog in Esquimalt

Pet owners have until Feb. 28 to renew, purchase or transfer licences for 2021

Ownership of SISȻENEM — also known as Halibut Island located east off Sidney Island — has transferred to W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council after The Land Conservancy of British Columbia (TLC) had purchased the island for $1.55 million. (The Land Conservancy/Submitted)
SISȻENEM (Halibut Island) transfers to W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council under historic agreement

The Land Conservancy purchased the 9.67-acre island for $1.55 million with help from unnamed donor

Landis Carmichael is the Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as the Emergency Services Award winner. (Photo courtesy Landis Carmichael)
29-year-old firefighter has spent almost half his life with Langford department

Landis Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Emergency Services Award

Shannon Davis, manager at Sidney’s Star Cinema, holds up the largest available bag of popcorn available for sale at the theatre. It also also sells four smaller sizes in generating revenue following its closure last fall because of COVID-19. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney theatre fills bottom line with popcorn sales

Theatre applying to return to doing our household-only private rentals

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

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

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

The BC Prosecution Service announced last year that it was appointing lawyer Marilyn Sandford as a special prosecutor to review the case, following media inquiries about disclosure issues linked to a pathologist involved in the matter. (Black Press Media files)
Possible miscarriage of justice in B.C. woman’s conviction in toddler drowning: prosecutor

Tammy Bouvette was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in 2013 to the lesser charge

A kid in elementary school wearing a face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Metro Creative)
Union asks why an elementary school mask rule wouldn’t work in B.C. if it does elsewhere

B.C. education minister announced expansion of mask-wearing rules in middle, high school but not elementary students

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo school district chosen as Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Ella Donovan with mom Tina outside Fuller Lake Arena before heading onto the ice for practice. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Young Ladysmith skater watches and waits in battle against cancer

Ella Donovan’s tumour began a tumultuous time, but community support eased the burden

Most Read