Community

Rally in Peace park to protect Community Living

About forty people attended a rally at Memorial Peace Park on Sunday to protest cuts to Community Living B.C. and show support for the services and programs for people living with disabilities.  - Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS
About forty people attended a rally at Memorial Peace Park on Sunday to protest cuts to Community Living B.C. and show support for the services and programs for people living with disabilities.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS

Despite it being Mother’s Day, about 40 people showed up in Memorial Peace Park Sunday to protest cuts in Community Living B.C.

But some of what they’re opposing, is not happening, says the Crown corporation.

One complaint was that there are no longer any people with developmental disabilities on the board of directors of CLBC, nor were there directors who had family members who developmental disabilities.

Not true, says Doug McClelland, spokesman for the agency.

There is both a self advocate, someone with a disability, and a family member on the board, he pointed out.

He added that in 2009 the government changed the law requiring that most on the board have connection to someone with a disability. However, the board still has one of each of the above categories.

He also disputed the claim that IQ scores are used to determine who gets access to services.

That’s determined by psychologists who apply internationally recognized criteria, McClelland said.

Bob Goos, who was at the rally and who has a daughter with developmentally disabilities, said he has never heard of anyone meeting with psychologists in order to get services.

He also wasn’t aware of any director with a family member with disabilities on the board of CLBC.

Several rallies were held around the province.

The B.C.-CLAG advocates for:

• a stop to cuts to supports and services affecting adults with developmental disabilities;

• an independent  review of B.C.’s community living sector, examining capacity, funding, and oversight;

• the release of CLBC’s strategic and operational plans and budgets, as well as the disclosure of expected plan outcomes;

• an officer of the legislature to advocate on behalf of persons with disabilities who are receiving or seeking provincial government support;

• new legislation that guarantees the provision of publicly funded services and supports to people with developmental disabilities, sufficient to meet their diverse and changing needs.

The government said last week it’s making progress achieving its 12-point plan announced in January. It gave another $179 million over three years for support services. Part of that will go to families who have children that are becoming adults, providing $2,800 yearly for respite services.

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