COVID-19 has brought significant challenges for some of our province’s most vulnerable people. Many British Columbians living with disabilities have been cut off from the vital care and support networks they rely on, and some have been unable to work during the pandemic or have been forced to self-isolate as a result of being immunocompromised. At a time when government should be taking extra steps to ensure people living with disabilities are provided with the additional supports they need to face the challenges of COVID, John Horgan and the NDP have instead stripped away vital assistance and added significant barriers.
While hundreds of thousands of British Columbians are still anxiously waiting for their one-time BC Recovery Benefit promised to them by Christmas, people living with disabilities have seen their disability income assistance cut in half over the past two months, leaving many struggling to pay for rent, food, and other necessities. By clawing back a guaranteed source of income and replacing it with a lengthy application process that requires a lot of information government already has on file, John Horgan has kept vital supports out of the hands of those who need it most. The Premier recently admitted he could have automated the BC Recovery Benefit for people living with disabilities all along, an action that would have saved an immeasurable amount of grief for countless British Columbians.
Under John Horgan and the NDP, life is becoming less and less affordable. The average cost of rent is soaring as the NDP continues to under-deliver on its promises for affordable housing. The Premier continues to ignore calls for greater supports for people living with disabilities to meet the ever-growing cost of living, insisting that he is a lonely voice at the cabinet table instead of the man in charge of the administration that could enact change.
As members of the Official Opposition, we will continue to hold John Horgan accountable and raise these issues in the Legislature, to ensure we fill the gaps in COVID supports and see that those most vulnerable in our communities get the help they need.
By Dan Davies, MLA for Peace River North