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BCACL calls for external review of Community Living BC (CLBC) and moratorium on service redesign.

Summary: 
BCACL has written to the new Minister of Social Development, Hon. Stephanie Cadieux, calling for an external review of Community Living BC (CLBC) and an immediate moratorium on service redesign.

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Highlights from Tuesday's Legislative sitting

CLBC funding crisis on BCACL's website (includes recent media)

The letter dated October 5, 2011 relayed the experiences of families and individuals who are in crisis, not receiving the supports they need to live happy, healthy lives in community and who are not being consulted and included in decisions that affect their lives. We also expressed our concern with CLBC's inability or unwillingness to acknowledge the experiences of families and the systemic decision making and practice issues.

The letter also presented an alternative future of hope and the possibility of renewing CLBC's initial promise of participatory leadership and decision making that would ensure a system of supports for people with developmental disabilities and their families that are responsive, proactive, inclusive and cost effective.

To this end, "BCACL is calling for a moratorium on the current service redesign process and an external, independent and comprehensive review of Community Living British Columbia. This review must be completely transparent and led by a stakeholder group including BCACL, individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, community based agencies and government. It must also be supported by an external expert/s with unquestionable credentials and experience."

Throne Speech lacks Substance

The fall sitting of the B.C. Legislature started this week, with the provincial government's throne speech on Monday. We are disappointed with the throne speech's lack of substance and its failure to acknowledge or commit to addressing the crisis in community living. Over the past year, the messaging around CLBC has not changed.

BCACL is committed to working with government, families, individuals and our partners to ensure that supports to people with developmental disabilities and their families are strong, transparent and properly funded. However, until the provincial government genuinely commits to acknowledging the experiences and stories of families and individuals, real change will not occur.

From Monday's throne speech:

"Community Living British Columbia delivers high-quality services to almost 14,000 adults with developmental disabilities. There is a growing budget and growing demand.

The government recognizes the importance of these services provided by CLBC to families across B.C. and is focused on finding solutions to meet their needs."

Government holds off on releasing CLBC waitlist numbers

The new Minister of Social Development, Stephanie Cadieux, has decided to hold off on releasing waitlist numbers until she can be briefed on the numbers by Ministry staff. The previous Minister, Harry Bloy, had instructed CLBC to release waitlist numbers before the Legislature began sitting.

BCACL has been asking for accurate waitlist numbers for years. We are encouraged that numbers may be forthcoming in the near future and hope the new Minister recognizes the importance and urgency of having accurate, transparent numbers so we can work together to understand, address and effectively plan for the issues in our sector.

Reporter Lindsay Kines has written about the delayed release of waitlists in the Times Colonist and on his new blog.

• Read the article here: Snag in release of statistics outlining developmental-disability waiting list

• Lindsay Kines maintains an excellent, up-to-date blog on issues relating to disability, politics and child welfare. Read the blog here: http://blogs.timescolonist.com/author/lkines/