The government’s BC Disability Consultation closes at 4:00 pm on March 11, 2014. A white paper based on the consultations will be shared in a summer 2014 summit.
Let’s make sure child and youth issues, such as those identified by First Call partner, the Developmental Disabilities Association mentioned here, are heard in these government consultations. Read also the three measures called for by the Poverty Reduction Coalition.
First Call has also raised a concern about one of the long overlooked issues in disability: the invisibility of children with disabilities in welfare policy. The definition of persons with a disability in the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act does not include those who are under 18. Current BC policy recognizes that adults with disabilities who are unable to work can qualify for a higher rate of income assistance than those who are classified as expected to work.
Yet parents, especially single parents, who are raising children with disabilities, are often unable to work or are under-employed as a direct result of their caregiving responsibilities for a special needs child. Their additional medical and therapeutic costs are not recognized in the income assistance rates, as they are for adults with disabilities. Neither is there an exemption for these necessary medical or therapeutic expenses from income, when a parent receives money for them from a non-custodial parent or other third party. This is discriminatory and undermines the health and development of children with disabilities whose parents are in receipt of income assistance.
There’s a final in-person community session scheduled in Victoria on Friday, March 7; you canregister here for it. There are also other ways to participate in the consultation. Download theDisability White Paper Conversation Toolkit
Vancouver Sun reporter Daphne Bramham reveals shocking cuts to government spending for youth over the past decade, with an analysis of BC Budget numbers, adjusted to 2013 dollars by economist Iglika Ivanova of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
“For at least a dozen years, the government’s response has been hollow, but consistent, when it comes to the lives and futures of our most vulnerable citizens,” Bramham concludes.
Read her analysis here
A film made by students at Argyle Secondary School is now available online. In this film, leading BC figures comment on the findings of the 2013 Adolescent Health Survey - launched February 12 by McCreary Centre Society – including Representative for Children and Youth Mary Ellen Turpel-LaFond and Bob Lenarduzzi of the Vancouver Whitecaps.
You can find the video on the McCreary Centre website and Youtube channel.
The study from BioMed Central, entitled “Gaps in Indigenous disadvantage not closing: a census cohort study of social determinants of health in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand from 1981-2006,” traces census data to compare outcomes for the cohort aged 25 to 29 years in the domains of education, employment and income.
Among the findings: “Reducing these gaps means addressing a complex set of issues. Increasing educational attainment requires appropriately resourced education support beginning in early childhood, sustained throughout regular schooling and into vocational and higher education settings.”
Thanks to the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society for sharing this resource.
This excellent report from the Dietitians of Canada analyzes the cost of a healthy food basket and provides best practices and recommendations for reducing hunger and poverty.
Cost of Eating in British Columbia details the cost of accessing adequate food in BC, relates this cost to income and considers the reasons why many people cannot meet this basic need.
In 2011, the provincial average cost of the nutritious food basket for a family of four is $868 per month. Those earning minimum wage, receiving income assistance or facing other challenges (high rents, child care or transportation costs, for example) struggle to purchase food as well as meet their other basic needs.
In the 10 years that Cost of Eating in BC has been published, the situation has only gotten worse for individuals and families earning low wages or receiving government assistance.
Thanks to the Canadian Social Research Newsletter for bringing this resource to our attention.
In this compelling article, Gary Bloch draws from his experience as a family physician to tell the story of Fatima, a single mother who works full-time at minimum wage. Read How an inadequate minimum wage is linked to poorer health outcomes – for everyone, first published in the Globe and Mail, the Hill Times and the Daily Gleaner.
Dr. Bloch’s article is the latest in a growing number of opinion pieces that explore how health is affected by poverty in EvidenceNetwork.ca’s Commentaries, Health Is More Than Healthcare.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
8:30 to 10:30 am
VanDusen Botanical Garden
5251 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC
Please join the Society for Children and Youth of BC for the North American launch of the International NGO Council on Violence Against Children’s most recent report. Dr. Katherine Covell, the council’s representative for North America, will speak about the youth justice system in Canada.
Can’t make it in person? You can also register to participate via conference call. Just register here and further details will be sent to you closer to the date.