Letters: Choosing one or the other

That’s the first increase to income for B.C.'s disabled in nine years

Bob Goos

Editor, The News:

Re: Changes to disability pay (The News, Sept. 7).

An increase of $25 per month, though tremendously inadequate, is more than twice better than what many of us did receive.

I love the way the article states that instead of filling our needs, which is what welfare used to do 30 years ago, compared to today, the ministry is now giving those in need a choice where we need to decide whether we want to have shelter, or clothing, or to eat or to have transportation.

But there isn’t enough to have all of those things all of the time – things that most of us take for granted as necessary for everyday life.

The disabled still get only half of the equivalent to what one would get in a full-time minimum wage job to live on, which is an amount already known to be woefully inadequate, never mind half of that amount.

Some of us who received the “special transportation subsidy” instead of the “bus pass program,” because of heath issues, saw that taken off the increase, leaving us with only an $11 per month increase to our income.

That’s the first increase to our income in nine years.

We’d only received a $120 increase in more than 20 years before that, with the downloading of expenses onto us that far exceed that amount, with no consideration whatsoever for what it actually costs to live.

Our B.C. government doesn’t consider this at all when it comes to the disadvantaged and routinely uses them this way to “balance the budget.”

I know this for a fact because, to my surprise, they actually told me so in their correspondence to me when I have written to them about this issue.

In the later 1990s, our B.C. government took out of the legislation the requirement to alleviate poverty and suffering.

Since then, we have been in this downward spiral to a shrinking middle class, ever increasing poverty, expanding homelessness, mounting personal debt, skyrocketing alcoholism and drug use.

People who see a bright future don’t normally go down the pathway towards drug use.

They just don’t, not when their lives are going well, and they have great health, easy access to affordable adequate health care, are sufficiently educated, have good jobs or at least enough income to live on, have optimistic, non-debt-ridden futures with dreams that have a realistic possibility of coming true through their own hard work and effort.

And they can see that they can pay back their student loans and will be able to afford a home and have families of their own.

In most cases, all people want, is simply to be able to create for themselves the equivalent in their own way, of what their parents and grandparents were able to create for themselves.

And what’s with all the fentanyl deaths?

How is it getting into so many drugs when it doesn’t even make financial sense for anyone to put it in there, being more expensive than the drug it’s replacing?

We have to figure out what’s going on there?

Gail Neufeld

Maple Ridge


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