Families protest government cuts to CLBC
Published Monday, October 17, 2011 7:54AM PDT
A group of demonstrators gathered in downtown Vancouver Sunday to protest government funding and programming cuts to Community Living British Columbia.
Families of people with developmental disabilities expressed fears about the future of their loved ones in light of the lack of government support.
Kimberley Yanko, mother of a child with disabilities, said that her family feels left out of Premier Christy Clark's ‘Families First' campaign.
"I watch Christy Clark saying 'change is good,' but there's a bad way of doing things and a good way of doing things," she said.
Many families said they lost most of the services they rely on from CLBC after 65 group homes were forced to close, putting 2,600 people on waiting lists. CLBC advocates say $70-million is needed to meet the immediate needs of those affected by the cuts.
After the board ousted Mowles Friday, the BC NDP is calling for a full review of the organization.
"We need to bring in somebody independent who can take a look and see what's going on and then see how to put Humpty Dumpty back together again," NDP MLA Jenny Kwan said.
Mowles will be replaced by CLBC Vice President Doug Wollard.
CLBC was created by the BC Liberals in 2005 and has an operating budget of $600 million per year. According to CLBC's records, the lowest paid employee last year made $75 thousand, and the highest paid, former CEO Rick Mowles, made $210 thousand plus a vehicle allowance.
In September, B.C.'s former Minister of Social Development Harry Bloy announced an extra $6 million in funding for CLBC, an amount advocates say is not nearly enough. Bloy was replaced after being heavily criticized for cuts to programming for the developmentally disabled.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Peter Grainger