The BC government shows no signs of re-instating $45/year subsidized bus pass for people with disabilities. Nevertheless, InclusionBC , TAPS and other advocacy groups are continuing their campaign to let everyone receiving PWD benefits keep the $77/month increase regardless of whether they need a bus pass, and raise the PWD benefit rate to $1200 per month. They are meeting with Michelle Stilwell, Minister for Social Development and Innovation in late March where they will demand that the government not only reverse its decision to claw back the bus pass, but that it also comes up with a serious plan to raise people out of poverty and increase and index the PWD rates to reflect the rising cost of living.
The issue has been brought to the attention of British Columbians not only through mainstream and social media, but has also appeared in local community papers–like this excellent letter in the Delta Optimist published in my “hometown,” followed by my own contribution in the next issue.
(Btw, the fish in the story are the male of the species.)
In my column I refer to a blogger from the disability community who asks the question:
A. “Do you think that I have a right to exist?”
Using deductive logic…she takes the reader through a series of premises….
if you answered, “yes”, then you believe that:
B. “My right to exist is thus predicated on the possibility of my being able to acquire what I need to exist.”
and then she hits our government between the eyes:
C. “By not providing the funds necessary to safely house and feed and care for oneself, the BC government is, in effect, denying people their right to exist.”
It was her post that hit me between the eyes, too and inspired me to speak out. For if we allow our government’s inhumane decisions to go unchallenged, we ourselves are complicit and diminished.
Here’s mssinenomine’s hard-hitting post, BC Budget & Disability Benefits: The Raise Up That Was Just Another Let Down