I recently attended a forum by the Family Support Institute, which hosted a panel of people from the Ministry of Social Development.
I questioned the assistant deputy minister on when they are going to raise the disability rates and index them to inflation. Clients with chronic diseases cannot even take care of themselves on present rates and don’t have access to proper nutritious food or decent housing.
I told her about the human skeletons in wheelchairs, dragging intravenous tubes and begging on the streets of Victoria. This is a scandal and a disgrace.
Her response was the typical spin, that the government does not have any money to raise the rates.
The government does have the money – look at the massive Community Living B.C. pay rates for example – but they have decided to keep people with disabilities in perpetual poverty. Their inhumane “every man for himself” ideology even applies to people who are too sick to work.
When the Liberals are defeated next spring, they will not be remembered for tweaking policies about trust accounts for the disabled. They will be remembered for turning their backs on the sickest and most fragile members of our society as they wither away and die.
Doreen Marion Gee