Letters to the Editor

Poverty needs response

Re: Letter to the editor by Virginia Brucker of Nanoose Community Services in the (The NEWS, Feb. 18).

Her letter describes accurately the plight of quiet desperation continuously felt by those that suffer from disabilities and poverty.

My own son, a person with severe disabilities living on his own, cannot survive on his B.C. government pension alone without my continuous financial help in paying the bills for his spartan lifestyle. The difficulty with this is that I, his father, am now 85 and worry about what kind of a future he will have.

His monthly income is $856.78 plus $150 added for living on his own called SIL (Semi Independent Living). $475.30 of the $856.78 is, by the way, from CPP, not from B.C. coffers, as he once worked before his illness. It should be noted also that the $150 B.C. government SIL amount was $294, cut to $200 and cut again to the present $150, all within the previous twelve months as food, services, housing and living costs are, of course, rising continuously.

Regarding MLA Michelle Stilwell’s cold response when queried about the impossibly low disability rates in B.C., stating that they are a balancing act that must be fiscally acceptable to taxpayers: this does not say much for her understanding, caring or willingness to investigate.

She should understand that some disabilities completely prevent the earning of any income and those so stricken through no fault of their own in this category deserve sufficient government help that basic needs at least are met and can be counted on without worry.

I believe that Stilwell, in her position, is responsible to those she represents for more than just a callous statement about protecting the taxpayers.

DOUGLAS ROSS

Qualicum Beach

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