Excerpt from the Official Report of
DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

(Hansard)


May 20, 2010

Cuts to the equipment and assistive technology initiative for people with disabilities

S. Simpson: This funding goes directly to individuals. It allows them to purchase the equipment and the aids that will improve their lives. It goes for wheelchairs, visual and hearing aids, computer enhancements and more. Yet less than two months after British Columbians cheered on the Paralympics, this government and this minister are prepared to hurt the ability of people to move, to speak, to see and hear and access information. That's what this minister's doing.

These organizations. The network has said they will run out of money in July 2010. Will this minister commit the $4 million a year to that equipment today?

...

S. Simpson: The way this program should be run is to meet the needs of the disabled, not to make excuses for an incompetent minister.

This group was told in May, six months after the money, after they thought they had a deal, that they didn't have a deal. So $4 million is gone. A million and a half is on the table. That's what they were told by this minister's officials — no consultation, no discussion, just a 60 percent cut.

My question to the minister again: how does this minister justify turning his back on the disabled, turning his back on vulnerable British Columbians, when he claims to care? What a sham.

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