Interim CEO defends disabled care

As the opposition kept up the political pressure on the B.C. Liberal government to halt the closure of group homes for developmentally disabled people, the interim CEO of the agency responsible held a rare news conference at the B.C. legislature Wednesday.

Community Living B.C. executive Doug Woollard

VICTORIA – As the opposition kept up the political pressure on the B.C. Liberal government to halt the closure of group homes for developmentally disabled people, the interim CEO of the agency responsible held a rare news conference at the B.C. legislature Wednesday.

Doug Woollard was promoted to replace Community Living B.C. CEO Rick Mowles, who was fired last week amid reports of families being pressured to accept home-stay placements instead of group homes with 24-hour staff.

Woollard acknowledged that there have been 15 to 20 cases where CLBC did not consult adequately with the families of clients before changing their living arrangements. He said the intent is to reach agreement with families before changes are made

For one of those cases, the Williams Road group home in Richmond, Woollard gave a specific assurance: “If we don’t reach agreement with the families, we won’t change it.”

Under opposition questioning in the legislature Tuesday, Social Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux announced that her deputy minister, along with deputies from children and family development and the health ministry, are reviewing the way all provincial services go to developmentally disabled people. Cadieux continued to reject the NDP’s call for a moratorium on group home closures, and Woollard agrees.

A moratorium would make the system too inflexible as it deals with rising demand, he said. He confirmed that 65 group homes have closed, leaving 700 more around the province. CLBC has a budget of more than $700 million, and a waiting list of 2,800 people seeking either new or increased service.

Woollard said the government is aware of the demand, and CLBC’s estimate that it would cost between $51 million and $65 million more to meet it all. Part of the demand can be met by providing service at lower cost, and it is up to the government to decide how much to increase the budget, he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

Tamitik Status of Women granted $500,000 to support housing construction project

The funds will be used to support the construction of second stage and affordable rental housing.

In Our Valley: Lois Godfrey

Godfrey has spent 50 years helping with the Girl Guides, and even more helping out in her community.

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read