Excerpt from the Official Report of
DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

(Hansard)


October 6, 2011

Service review of Community Living B.C. and call for a moratorium on group home closures

S. Simpson: We heard about two desperate situations today where families are facing situations that are going to become untenable for them. We heard the Premier and we've heard the minister talk about agreeing to meet with people on one-offs. This is not a situation of one-offs, of individual cases. This is a systemic problem with Community Living B.C. that needs to get addressed.

The service redesign is all about money. While the Premier might want to create numbers, let's talk about the numbers we have. The Developmental Disabilities Association in a July 2011 study pointed out that the per-client funding for adult community living services has been reduced from $65,368 in '01-02 to $45,320 in '11-12. That's the reality of service redesign.

The minister will know that the B.C. Association for Community Living has called on her and called on this government to put forward an external review of Community Living B.C. and a full moratorium on the service redesign process, including group home closures, until you can get this fixed.

Will you respect the B.C. Association for Community Living, do the review and put the moratorium in place?

...

S. Simpson: The problem is this. We have had a revolving door of responsible ministers for this, and every one of those ministers has failed the people with developmental disabilities in this province. Every one of those ministers has perpetuated the demise of these programs, the erosion of these programs. That's the reality.

It started with the Government House Leader when he was minister, who said: "We're not forcing anyone to move." We know that commitment was never kept. That commitment was never kept.

The B.C. Association for Community Living represents all those organizations in this province that deliver those services day in and day out. They are the most knowledgable people on this issue — more knowledgable than Community Living B.C., more knowledgable than the people in this ministry.

They are saying an external review is necessary. They are saying there need to be more voices involved in this and more thoughts. They're calling for a responsible action by the minister. Will the minister be responsible, put the review in place, including the moratorium, and announce it today?

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