Waitlists in BC
One way to get service is to advocate within the political realm. For instance, in British Columbia we have a crisis because of the vast numbers of people who are waiting for service either through MCFD or CLBC. This has been going on for a long time now and it seems that the Government just does not care.
So, from time to time, I take the trouble to write the Premier a letter. I try to keep it short and to the point and use information that helps my argument. I also cc my MLA and the Leader of the Opposition. See below my most recent letter as an example. Please join me in writing to the premier on the issue of waitlists. Including your personal story and the impact on your family helps get the message across.
November 15, 2008
Honorable Gordon Campbell
Premier of British Columbia
PO Box 9041
STN PROV GOVT
Dear Premier Campbell,
I have two adult children with intellectual disabilities and I am writing to express my deep concern about the lack of funding for people with intellectual disabilities in British Columbia. I know that approximately 2500+ families are on waitlists for service through Community Living British Columbia or the Ministry of Child and Family Development. I have heard that approximately $60 million is required to alleviate the waitlists in CLBC (how much is needed in MCFD is unknown). This represents less than a 10% increase of the overall CLBC budget.
The BC Liberal Government has projected a budget surplus of $800 million in 2009. The badly needed $60 million to reduce waitlists represents only 7% of the projected budget surplus. I hasten to add that $60 million represents .15% of the overall 2009 government budget. Even if there is not a budget surplus it is clear to me that British Columbia can afford to properly fund people with disabilities. You just choose not to.
Saskatchewan just made that choice. They have just announced that they are investing $76 million into supporting people with disabilities. It is hard not to appreciate that kind of leadership and caring for the most vulnerable in our communities. In tough times, it is even more important to ensure that people are protected and supported. To do otherwise is simply mean-spirited. I would also like to remind you that people who are supported to one day become independent will save society money in the long run. Moreover, when families break apart because they cannot cope it clearly increases costs for the Government because it takes significantly more funding to take a person into care rather than support a family to care for their own.
I cannot support a Government that clearly prioritizes non-essentials (Olympics, bridges, executive salaries) over the real needs of people in our communities. People and families are struggling and need your help. I strongly urge you to fully fund MCFD and CLBC in the next budget.
Cc Diane Thorne – MLA Coquitlam/Maillardville
Cc Carol James - Leader of the Opposition