NEWS RELEASE · 15th January 2013
The B.C. Liberals demonstrated they are not up to the challenges facing British Columbians when the social development minister wrongly claimed B.C.'s children's representative had been granted new authority for young adults transitioning out of Community Living B.C., say the New Democrats.
“The minister's claim that the representative for children and youth is now able to advocate for adults aged 19 to 24 is simply wrong," said New Democrat critic for Community Living B.C. Nicholas Simons. "The Liberals promised to bring forward legislation to make that change, but they cancelled the fall session of the legislature and failed to get the job done."
Social Development Minister Moira Stilwell made a point to say to media on Tuesday that "the Representative for Children and Youth is now able to advocate for people that she has been advocating for in her office between the ages of 19-24."
Simons said that although the government stated they intended to expand the representative's mandate in response to recommendations made by the Select Standing Committee for Children and Youth in May 2012, due to the canceled fall session, no such legislation was ever brought forward.
"This isn't the only legislation the Liberals failed to bring forward in the fall," said Simons. "After promising to table legislation to return to the PST from their defeated HST by October, the government made a draft available publicly just last week with the legislature still not sitting," said Simons.
“This is yet another example of the Liberals' failed attempt to correct a terrible mess they created in the first place. Families accessing services at CLBC have had to deal with the closure of group homes, being shut out of assessment processes, and ongoing attempts to close employment programs.
“British Columbians deserve better than a government more concerned with campaigning than governing. Adults with developmental disabilities and their families deserve better."
It's time for a change to a new government with new priorities, and B.C.'s New Democrats are offering change for the better, one practical step at a time.