Thanks Stilwell for your hard work

As the parent of a daughter with a disability and a son who is an Olympian I see the effort it takes for each of them

As the parent of a daughter with a serious disability and a son who is an Olympian I see, every day, the effort it takes for each of them to make their way in life. They both face challenges not encountered by the average person. One by choice, the other due to fate.

We are B.C. residents by choice. One of the determining reasons we chose to live in B.C. was the support B.C. gives to persons with disabilities. We have never regretted our decision.

Our daughter lives near us in a great care home. She participates in community living programs and uses publicly funded transportation to travel to and from those programs.

She has been advised that she will soon receive an increase of $77/month in provincial support allowance which she is free to use for travel or anything else she chooses.

On the Olympic side, we know dozens of Canadian athletes. We have watched them sacrifice personal and family time for the honour of competing for their country. Very few reach that goal. We know that it demands time and energy very few are prepared to commit.

That brings us to comment on the recent criticism of our MLA, Michelle Stillwell. We know her as an athlete and a woman committed to her community, her province and her country.

We know her as the mother of a son with autism. Perhaps most importantly we know her as one of the hardest working persons we have ever met.

The fact that Stilwell dedicates 10 hours a day to her job as an MLA and cabinet minister and finds time to train and compete as a Paralympian; all while raising son Kai with husband Mark is amazing. Stilwell the athlete is inspired, Stilwell the wife and mom is inspirational.

Those zealots who confront her as she rolls her chair into her son’s school for parent teacher interviews and those partisan letter writers who claim Stilwell is not working for her community could not be more wrong.

I respect the athlete who gets up at

6 a.m. and trains relentlessly for two hours. I respect the MLA who attended more than 200 community events in 2015 and the cabinet minister who logs long hard hours working on behalf of my disabled daughter.

Bravo to the Olympian. But more importantly, cheers to the woman who won’t let anything stop her from performing above and beyond in sport, community service and in life.

Stilwell, thanks for having the courage to keep rolling in the face of so many challenges.

To those bullies, and partisan political activists who seek to disparage her, keep up to her high standards of community involvement and service; if you can.

Craig DuttonQualicum Beach

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island under a thunderstorm watch tonight

Environment Canada forecasts downpour and possible thunder and lightning

B.C. Greens hurrying to get candidates in place for provincial election

No candidates announced yet in Nanaimo, Nanaimo-North Cowichan or Parksville-Qualicum

Parksville Royals second at Victoria baseball tournament

Seniors player showcase talents in front of scouts

RCMP: Trio arrested, firearms seized after report of shots fired in rural Qualicum Beach

Police say search also found evidence of large-scale drug operation

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Most Read