I support Michelle Stilwell in wheelchair sporting events throughout the world. I congratulate her on both her wins and her abilities. To continue this sporting endeavour though, she must relinquish her position as Social Development Minister.
Her accomplishments as minister are not reflected in the media. Instead, we are constantly inundated with her sports accomplishments. Since moving here in 2014, I have yet to come across a disabled person or caregiver who has positive feedback on her or her agency’s/government’s accomplishments.
I challenge her letter to the editor in the Dec. 27 issue of The NEWS where she tries to offer some resolve to the overdose crisis, which claimed 755 people in B.C. from January to November of 2016. Stilwell offers no concrete explanation other than work still needs to be done. Work should have started on this in January of 2016, not November or December or 2016. Her attention must be transferred from Paralympics events to the constituents to whom she seems to have forgotten.
In moving my disabled sister from Alberta to reside with me, I encountered nothing but red tape and obstacles from Stilwell’s government or agencies receiving funding from her government. Being disabled, she should understand our sister’s plea, but as a nurse explained, Stilwell has not suffered by surviving on $906.42 per month or having to prove she was severely disabled to receive benefits. She lacks real knowledge of what the disabled in this province go through.
Well Stilwell, you should start empathizing with the disabled and show accountability for what your government subjects them to on a daily basis. It’s time open audits were done on agencies such as Community Living B.C. to verify their abilities, or lack thereof in our case. It’s also time to have open public forums where caregivers/disabled concerns will be heard (not just photo opportunities).
Our sister passed away in September and we miss her dearly, but I will endeavour to participate publicly and do what is required to get this government to listen to the plight of the disabled persons who, in many cases, have lost their voice.