Letter: Disabled need more financial help

Letter writer wonders why disabled people cannot get GIS

Dear Mr. Garrison MP

I’m one of the 6,000+ permanently disabled human beings in B.C., and living in your constituency, albeit with ongoing malnutrition, and chronic poverty which the provincial government is determined to do absolutely nothing about. I survive on $906 per month. The latest political trick played on us all – which flew right past the embedded press corp – has been the notion that we (after rigorously qualifying as unemployable) can and should go out to work to ‘make $800 per month’ on top of benefits. Can you see the absurdity? Well I can, and have had 10 major concussions including four tandem. With what energy and strength I have remaining I shall fight for those who can not. The idea that housing can be had for $375 per month was ridiculous a decade ago, and yet that is the ‘allowance’ given in 2014.

It is a challenge to survive at half the poverty level and it represents a long slow miserable death for some. That is the political reality in B.C. Government propaganda calls it the ‘best place on earth’ – for whom exactly?

The provincial government fails miserably to provide for the poor and disabled, and so I turn to Canada to make right what the province can and will not.

I’m interested in reading your opinion concerning extension of the ‘Guaranteed Income Supplement’ provided by the federal government to those over the age of 65, to those of us not lucky enough to belong to an organized and well-funded voter’s block while being over 65 years of age. I am 51-years-old and unemployable for many reasons. Who in their right mind would hire a man with a collapsing spine and heavily bruised brain? Any ideas would be welcome – I like earning a living and resent being a charity case.

The legal issue I am raising is called Discrimination via Ageism and I believe the Supreme Court of Canada has recently made some judgements concerning the fundamental injustice of this discriminatory political policy. Why am I and 6,000 others in B.C. excluded from such supplements? My intention is to raise the hue and cry and move forward with a Class Action on behalf of my 6,000 fellow disenfranchised disabled Canadians in B.C. The provincial government is, in my opinion, in gross Dereliction of Duty and plays the game of not ‘offending the majority of taxpayers by actually providing sufficient funds for the disabled. As this requires courage and there is none of that on this ship at this time.

In my case, I was afforded a Permanent and Total Disability payout from Chrysler Canada in 1989 after major injuries necessitating cervical fusion at C5/6. I qualified as Handicapped in B.C. in 1996 and again qualified as a Person with Disabilities when the Liberal-inspired cull occurred in 2002 (causing at least eight suicides of compatriots). On January 6, 2002 I was struck by a junkie in a stolen car necessitating a second fusion within my cervical spine at C4/5 (now titanium). Those concussions were layered on many others from past injuries, as were the superimposed spinal injuries. I live in often severe chronic pain and it shows. In spite of this I was working for K2 Parks in the GINPR until our contract was terminated and taken over by Parks Canada itself. I have not worked at all since 2009 when I was re-injured in the wreck of another man’s truck.

So the question is simple Sir. Do you support extension of Federal Guaranteed Income Supplements now provided exclusively to the entitled elderly to those of us living in abject poverty in one of the richest jurisdictions on earth, but not yet 65-years-of-age? The futility of addressing these concerns to the B.C. government has been known for a very long time to many of us. The last thing they have cash for is providing for the poor and disabled, so I turn to you and ask that you change the plight of the disabled across Canada by signalling a positive change of the priorities in government. A Private Members Bill would I am sure would result in standardisation of such supplements and also perhaps embarrass the Provinces into meeting their obligations. Though that may be wishful thinking as they appear to have no shame nor honour.

I am copying this letter off to Mr. Horgan MLA as he may wish to formulate excuses and dissimulation for the press.

Christopher Robin Garrish

Sooke

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