Excerpt from the Official Report of
DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

(Hansard)


March 8, 2010

Funding for supports to disabled and low income people

S. Simpson: Last Thursday, late in the afternoon, the Minister of Housing and Social Development rolled out an announcement of over $26 million in cuts to some of our most vulnerable citizens, including persons with disabilities and the homeless. The minister had the gall to allow the heading on this to be "Province Protects Services for Low-Income Clients." Cuts to nutrition, medical services, supplies and equipment, dental services, shelter allowances, contraceptive services and funeral services — all part of 50 pages of regulatory cuts.

Could the minister tell us why the most vulnerable in this province have to pay for the incompetence of him and his government?

....

S. Simpson: Well, I don't know who "they" are that the minister talks to, but it wasn't people with disabilities. It wasn't their advocates. It wasn't the homeless who said: "Cut our services." We can be assured of that.

What might be more telling is that on the eighth of March, the minister is quoted in the Globe and Mail as saying: "We felt these were, frankly, add-ons that weren't necessary to healthy living of folks on social assistance." That was the minister on the eighth.

Nutrition; medical services, supplies and equipment; dental services; shelter allowances; contraception; funeral services. And the list just continues to grow. Hon. Speaker, for everybody else in this society, those kinds of services are essential. For everybody else, those are important. Why does the minister think those are frills for the poor and the disabled?

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