B.C. takes bus passes from disabled — where is Premier Clark's heart?


Disabled British Columbians are fighting back against the Christy Clark government’s cruel decision to claw back their bus passes.

Rallies were held in front of the B.C. legislature Wednesday and at multiple locations around the Lower Mainland, and their message was clear.

“Please leave our bus pass alone,” pleaded Sheenagh Morrison, a disabled young woman who gave a brief but moving speech at the legislature.

“We need it,” she said. “I need it to see my friends and family out in the community, to get to and from Special Olympics swimming and my summer volunteer job.”

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2 posts were split to a new topic: More wasteland stuff

I quickly read that article and it seems like their allowance is being increased by more than the cost of the bus pass. Previously it was unfair because some people would receive the bus pass and some wouldn’t. Now everyone gets the same (larger) cash amount. If they still want a bus pass they can get it, but now everyone gets the same benefits from the government.

That article looks like a very shoddy way to put a negative spin on what actually seems to be a net increase in benefits for disabled people.


I asked Stilwell how much it would cost to give disabled people their $77-a-month increase but leave their bus passes and a separate annual transit subsidy (also being clawed back) alone.

**** Her answer: $35 million a year**.**

The government just tabled a $264-million surplus budget. There’s a $350-million forecast allowance, a $450-million contingency fund and a $100-million LNG prosperity fund.

They could easily give disabled people their rate increase, leave their transit passes alone and still balance the budget.

** Where is the government’s heart?**

You’re ignoring the fact that benefits for disabled people have increased. From what the article says, every single disabled person is getting a net increase in benefits.

If you think there should be an extra $35m increase on top of that, that’s another issue. But to imply that disabled are somehow getting ripped off by this change is disingenuous.

As for the argument about the surplus. Many people think that governments should never run surpluses. They say that all surplus funds should be spent on hospitals, benefits etc. This is dangerous, and wrong. Governments should run surpluses in the ‘boom’ part of the economic cycle (i.e. now), and deficits in the ‘bust’ part of the economic cycle. That helps to balance the budget in the long term. If you start running deficits even when the economy is in good shape, you end up with masses of debt over the course of the economic cycle.

How about using the 100,000,000 LNG prosperity fund taken from tax payers and using that for the 35 million. You can spin it any way you want. The Premier can easily afford to treat the less fortunate in the province properly and still be in the black.
I agree with the author. The Premier is mean-spirited.

Let me try again. Every disabled person is getting an increase in benefits. Do you agree with that or not?

Seems like people are taking the essence of this story, which is ‘all disabled people are getting more benefits’, and disingenuously twisting it to ‘Christy Clark stole our bus passes’. Its hilarious what passes for political debate these days.

A post was merged into an existing topic: More wasteland stuff

I’m actually not a big fan of Christy Clark at all. But if you’re going to criticize her, you should find something substantive instead of manufacturing a ‘scandal’ out of nothing like this.

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Welcome back Investor…I’m sure your time away has been spent sourcing unleaded Perrier for your child’s school…someone had to do it.

I so totally understand where you are coming from in your defence of Ms. Clark. After years of receiving funds that increase at a rate lower than the cost of inflation the differently abled are bestowed with a net increase. How do they react - with an Oliver like ungraciousness - ‘More Please’.

No one has even pointed out that the disabled in their electric scooters will now be gifted the opportunity to use HOV lanes in the lower mainland as well! Where’s the thank you for that?

Also, Ms Clark has personally placed herself amongst the saints with this move: how many people have even thought of the personal jeopardy she has placed herself in? Given the economic driver of supply and demand, until the market can meet the increasing demand brought on by the ‘disabled’ using this net increase to charter private jets for themselves and their videographers, Ms. Clark my be placed in the position of overnighting in the riding she represents instead of hurrying home to her Point Grey hovel.The Horror!

Take that you rousers from the rabble……or is that rabble rousers (?). Investor - thank goodness and the gods of profitability for people like you - who defend our Premier!

None of that really made any sense to me. Did you read the article?

Also with the pesky bus passes rescinded disabled people are free to go out and buy new bus passes with the extra $ lavished on them by the government, and they’re free to hire cabs to go to the pharmacy to buy their medicine. Clark has really improved the lot of disabled people in BC. I can see that now.

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Wow Investor you are awesome - setting up a claim for intellectual disability in your reply. I’m guessing you will spend the funds on your personal transportation needs (chauffeurs do expect to be decently paid these days -really!).

And asking a trick question that only non-NDP’ers know the answer to: ‘No…I did not read the article - I try not to let statistics, facts, or intellectual snobbery bias my ego centric beliefs’. Did I get it right? Huh, huh?

I hope one day to worship at the alter of your Guuci’s! Yours in true ahhhhh!
Chien 22

Its a shame that you have hijacked a genuine discussion and turned it into a personal attack. I don’t see how you are contributing anything here.

If you go back to the original post in this thread it is a link to an article by Michael Smyth in The Province.

If you begin to read the article – it is easy to infer that the frustration expressed is not just about the buses passes, but about the social isolation, on-going poverty and frustrations experienced by many disabled on a daily basis. Indeed Mr. Smith makes that exact point in pointing out what the government has done:

“The budget included a $77-a-month increase in disability benefits, the first in nine years. But the government now is refusing to pay for a disability-assistance bus pass, wiping out most of the increase for people who need the pass and used to receive it for free.
For many disabled British Columbians, it sets up a choice of buying the bus pass or spending the entire $77 on food, rent or other basic needs.”

It is not hard to further infer that the frustrations felt by the disabled are also being felt by seniors in care, children in care, those experiencing mental illness, and those living in poverty.

But I totally get your point Investor. Its not about compassion, it’s not about caring, extending a safety net to those most in need, reaching a profound understanding of the underlying causes and striving to enable lives to change.

It’s about profit.

It was you, Investor who hijacked the conversation and ignoring the opportunity discuss government’s social justice responsibilities, re-focused it on profitability.

I turned the discussion into a personal attack? Really? I have absolutely no idea who you are? Did I make fun of some of the ideas you profess through exaggeration – guilty? Did I attempt some rather weak humor – again guilty? Was I somewhat sarcastic –yup!

But did I loose my sense of compassion for those in vulnerable groups while poking away at your ‘profitability’ take on social justice: no, I trusted a lot of people would understand what I was doing – certainly Hitest did (thanks Hitest!).

I am humbled (strike that} frightened by your belief in ‘profit’ rather than humanity.

So Investor: where’s your heart?


Well hey at least the liberals will allow LNG to operate in B.C.for next to nothing in taxes and probably will be given free hydro as well …well residential consumers will be sucked dry …who cares if old and disabled people can’t get around because the liberals cut they’re bus passes .LNG will save all …

On the backs of the disabled, poor, old, sick, and young it seems.

really show us where you get that information? they added an export tax on LNG, is that free? what other resource industry has an export tax? free hydro? again where do you get that information? Petronas is going to use Natural Gas for their energy needs. so are you saying forget LNG fine your entitled to that view but where is the government going to get the funds for, oh I don’t know free passes for the disabled? health care, schools etc. oh wait the resource sector.

I’m just saying the government should not put there eggs in one basket !