Maple Ridge protest over increase to disability income

Increase of $77 a month, but no more bus pass after changes that take effect September

The disabled can now make a choice, should they continue to get a bus pass as part of their benefits and receive just the $25-a-month raise that persons with disabilities will receive starting September?

Or should they forget about a bus pass and just take the entire windfall of the $77-a-month increase to disability assistance that starts this September?

It all depends on each person’s circumstances.

If someone on disability lives in a central area, they could get by without having to get a monthly bus pass, said Verity Howarth with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows NDP.

But if they have health issues and have to get to a hospital, that could require regular bus trips meaning it would make more sense to keep receiving the bus pass and just go for the $25 increase.

Howarth was with a small group protesting the change outside the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation offices on Lougheed Highway in Maple Ridge on Thursday.

Bob Goos showed up to lend his support also and said the increase may work for some people but most people on disability income don’t have a car so they need to take a bus in order to get around.

Many people who might be affected are reluctant to speak out any issues they have, he added.

“My experience talking to some people locally is that people who are directly affected don’t want to talk about it. They’re nervous.”

Howarth added that those on disability could have their benefits cut or an investigation could be started on them if they speak out.

According to the ministry, a single person on disability income receives $983 a month for food and shelter. They can supplement that to a certain extent by working or through other supplements.

Howarth said rates haven’t increased since 2007.

Mike Mappin, from Burnaby, was also at the protest. He’s on disability and is no longer working part-time and said he’s about to find out how the change will affect him.

“They raised it $77 and they want you to pay for your bus pass out of that raise.” That increase is the first over 10 years. “That’s insane.”

He’s lucky he’s renting a cheap place in Burnaby for $650 a month and couldn’t imagine how people get by if they’re paying rent of $1,000 a month.

He’s pretty sure he’ll need a bus pass however.

The ministry is also eliminating the annual $45 bus pass administration fee as part of its rate increases.











Just Posted

Aging out of Ministry care, Pitt resident tributes fund for post secondary success

Soraya Bellou is raising awareness for the Youth Futures Education Fund

Purple lights to illuminate the issue of domestic violence in Maple Ridge

Businesses along 224 Street will decorate storefront windows for Sept. 26

Bear conservation group wants higher fines for offenders

Maple Ridge Bears wants $500 penalties and earlier garbage collection

Pitt Meadows coach in the corner at epic UFC upset

Scorpion club’s Dan Golkar coached Tristan Connolly

Maple Ridge group saving and finding people for 50 years

Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue celebrates Saturday

Third instance of Trudeau in skin-darkening makeup emerges

Another instance of Trudeau using makeup to darken his face has emerged, within 24 hours of the first

Tim Hortons dropping Beyond Meat products from menus except in B.C. and Ontario

Beyond Meat burgers dropped nationally, but breakfast sandwiches still available in B.C. and Ontario

RCMP seize $1.9 million in B.C. traffic stop

The driver and passenger were detained under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001

The report describes the occasion as an ‘Arabian Nights’-themed gala event

‘Troubling, insulting’: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh reacts to Trudeau’s brownface photo

Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democrats, responded with a call for love after Trudeau photos surface

Elderly B.C. man gets 10 years in prison for sexually abusing young daughters

WARNING: This story contains graphic details and is not appropriate for all readers

‘This is not a drill’: Whistler Blackcomb gets first snowfall of the season

The 7th Heaven Summit had a dusting of snow Tuesday morning

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

Most Read