BC Organizations are calling on the BC government and official opposition to step up for Women’s equality and “commit to implementing – fully and without delay – the UN’s recommendations to demonstrably improve the lives of women in our province”
Christopher Shay has won his human rights complaint against the BC Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation, with the Ministry agreeing to make a range of changes to improve accessibility and fairness for people who have communication barriers and need welfare.
Ombudsperson office denied request for systemic investigation into inaccessibility at BC’s welfare ministry
Ombudsperson, Kim Carter, denied the request of nine social service agencies from across the province for a systemic investigation into service reductions at the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation
Mr. Shay, who is deaf, applied to the province’s Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation for immediate income assistance. The urgency of his situation qualified him to receive – at minimum – a food voucher or shelter referral within one business day, according to the ministry’s policies.
Shay was a life skills worker and an educational assistant, and then began studying computer science at Douglas College in 2012. He withdrew two years later as his student loans were high and he wanted to work to pay down some of the debt incurred.
When Christopher Shay applied for income assistance in September, he was at his wit’s ends. Unlike hearing people, Shay is unable to pick up the phone and call the income assistance office. Shay struggled more than five weeks before getting any money and received eviction notices after receiving no government response to his application. He finally found help through local outreach programs.
We filed our complaint because the ministry has built a system that disregards the needs, abilities and resources of income assistance recipients. It makes no sense to require people who often lack reliable access to phones and the Internet to obtain services through a call centre and online. Yet this is exactly what the ministry has done and what it is planning to continue to do.
On May 12, 2015 BCPIAC filed a complaint to the BC Ombudsperson on behalf of nine community service agencies across the province, based on evidence that some of BC’s most vulnerable people are being denied access to basic welfare services.
Online welfare system a barrier: advocate Wednesday, May 13, 2015 | Stefania Seccia | 24 HOURS Link to original article Nine groups filed an official complaint with the B.C. ombudsperson Tuesday over allegations that the government has slashed access to welfare despite claiming enhanced services. Over the last five years,Read more
Welfare office reductions prompts complaint to BC Ombudsperson May 13, 2015 | The Early Edition, CBC News Link to original article Listen to the full audio interview with Lobat Sadrehashemi. The B.C. government is making it harder for vulnerable people to access income-assistance according to nine community organizations who’ve filed a complaint with theRead more
Welfare system ‘discriminates’ against those who need it: report Tuesday, May 12, 2015 | Lori Culbert | Vancouver Sun Link to original article Nine social services agencies from across B.C. will file a joint complaint to the provincial ombudsperson today, alleging that changes to the welfare system make it nearlyRead more
B.C. ombudsman asked to look into welfare access Tuesday, May 12, 2015 | Mike Hager | The Globe & Mail Link to original article Two weeks ago, Brant Cechanek went to the local welfare office to apply for a small lump-sum payment that would allow him to buy a mini-fridgeRead more
Community groups ask Auditor General to ensure welfare computer system has emergency back-up system in place
Community groups ask Auditor General to ensure welfare computer system has emergency back-up system in place For Immediate Release | BCPIAC Eight social justice organizations and churches from across BC have asked the BC Auditor General to look into whether the BC Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation hasRead more
BCPIAC Letter in Support of a Legislated Poverty Reduction Act in BC May 14, 2014 | Erin Pritchard Honourable Christy Clark, MLA Premier of British Columbia PO Box 9041 Stn Prov Govt Victoria BC V8W 9E1 Re: Bill M212 – Poverty Reduction and Economic Inclusion Act Dear Premier Clark: WeRead more