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Resolutions passed at Inclusion BC Annual General Meeting

Summary: 
The Inclusion BC Federation passed six resolutions at our Annual General Meeting on June 16th. These resolutions will guide our work as we support and advocate for people with intellectual disabilities, their families and our member organizations.

Resolutions:

  • Establishing a Task Force on Income Security in BC
  • Kids Can't Wait
  • An Institution is not a Home
  • Inclusive Affordable Housing for People with Intellectual Disabilities
  • Restoring Quality Inclusive Education
  • Home Share Rates

ESTABLISHING A TASK FORCE ON INCOME SECURITY IN B.C.

(Presented by the Inclusion BC Board of Directors)

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, Article 28 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which Canada and the province of British Columbia are a signatory, says that “Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions”;

WHEREAS, the provincial government recognizes “the right of persons with disabilities to social protection and to the enjoyment of that right without discrimination on the basis of disability, and shall take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the realization of this right”; and

WHEREAS, in Accessibility 2024, the BC government’s vision on making British Columbia the most progressive province for people with disabilities, the stated goal on income support is that “BC’s disability assistance system best recognizes the unique circumstances of persons with disabilities in Canada by 2024”;

RESOLVED, that Inclusion BC work together with other community groups and with the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation to establish a task force on income security in British Columbia, specifically to examine such matters as separating disability assistance from income assistance, the introduction of a Basic Income as a new income support program, and a more comprehensive poverty reduction strategy. And that this task force make recommendations to the public and to the legislature by January 2019 with specific options for practical and progressive reforms.


KIDS CAN’T WAIT

(Presented by the Inclusion BC Board of Directors)

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, Children thrive when their families have supports they need, when they need them;

WHEREAS, Family centered, Early Childhood Education (ECE) and Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) programs are some of the best and most cost effective investments we can make in the lives of families and their children and our communities;

WHEREAS, Not all children under the age of 6 years old who are delayed or at risk of delay can access the ECE or ECI programs they need and a growing number of children age out of these programs;

WHEREAS, BC does not have consistent waitlist and wait time data for these programs and there is great regional disparity for accessing these programs;

WHEREAS, There has been little new ECI funding over the past 11 years and community agencies are struggling to deliver services due to significant and growing funding gaps; and

WHEREAS, There needs to be stronger and more connections between the community programs that deliver these programs and more collaboration between the Ministry of Children and Family Development and these programs;

RESOLVED, that Inclusion BC continue the work we have spearheaded with our members and community partners to address the findings and act on the recommendations in the report: Kids Can’t Wait.


AN INSTITUTION IS NOT A HOME

(Presented by the Inclusion BC Board of Directors)

Background

Institutions have been used to warehouse people in Canada since the late 1880s. Many marginalized groups, including people with intellectual disabilities, were forced to live in institutions. Cut off from family and community, people were treated no differently than incarcerated prisoners even though they had not committed any crimes. British Columbia became the first province in Canada to close the doors to its institutions for people with intellectual disabilities in 1996.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) was adopted in 2006 and is meant to protect the rights and dignity of all persons with disabilities. Canada agreed to support the rights and goals of the convention and ratified the convention in 2010. Article 19 of the Convention states that persons with disabilities have the right to:

• live independently

• be included in the community

• choose where and with whom they live; and

• have access to supports and services

Despite these important advancements, people with disabilities are still forced to live in institutions. One such place is the George Pearson Center (GPC) which is run by the Vancouver Health Authority (VCH) and is in Vancouver on 25 acres of land. Built as a tuberculosis hospital in 1952, it currently has approximately 120 adults with disabilities living in it. The land has been sold to a developer and is being redeveloped into residential buildings containing market units, rental units and affordable rental units between 3 and 28 storeys. Despite the plans for this new innovative community, the residents of GPC will continue to be segregated in institutionalized settings within the new development. The residents will be denied their rights of being fully included in their community, choosing who and where they live, and there has been little information regarding supports and services.

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, No person with a disability should or needs to live in an institution and having people live at GPC is in contravention of the UNCRPD and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;

WHEREAS, There are between 15-25 people with intellectual disabilities living at GPC; and

WHEREAS, GPC will be demolished and redeveloped and it is inevitable that these people will be relocated to the new GPC if other alternatives are not developed;

RESOLVED, that Inclusion BC advocate that CLBC complete assessments on people to determine who meets their mandate; and

that Inclusion BC work so that all those with intellectual disabilities are moved out of GPC and into appropriate homes in communities across BC.


INCLUSIVE AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES

(Presented by the Inclusion BC Board of Directors)

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, BC is experiencing a housing crisis, making access to inclusive, affordable and accessible housing a challenge;

WHEREAS, People with disabilities in BC experience some of the worst poverty of any group as a result of high unemployment and inadequate income benefits;

WHEREAS, There is currently significant provincial and federal attention and investments being made in social housing in BC; and

WHEREAS, In recent years, there have been developments built and/or proposed for people who are marginalized, including those with intellectual disabilities that are not inclusive;

RESOLVED, That Inclusion BC, along with our members and community partners, advocate for access to portable rental subsidies for people who receive PWD benefits;

That Inclusion BC showcase and promote examples of inclusive, affordable housing projects in BC; and

That Inclusion BC develop a proposal to establish a targeted housing innovation fund to stimulate the development of innovative, inclusive housing for people with intellectual disabilities.


RESTORING QUALITY INCLUSIVE EDUCATION IN BC PUBLIC SCHOOLS

(Presented by the Inclusion BC Board of Directors)

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, An inclusive, publicly funded education system celebrates diversity, benefits all students, has appropriate supports and resources and provides equitable access to life-long learning;

WHEREAS, We must safeguard access for all students to publicly funded, inclusive education;

WHEREAS, BC has experienced growth in the number of private, segregated schools and corresponding an increase in the numbers of students with special needs attending these schools;

WHEREAS, Inclusion BC and the Family Support Institute of BC surveyed families in 2013 and issued a report, Stop Hurting Kids, that documented the experiences of 200 families whose children with special needs were subjected to seclusion and restraints in schools in part resulting from declining funding for inclusive, public education; and

WHEREAS, A strong, publicly funded education system relies on well supported and trained educators and informed and aware parents;

RESOLVED, that Inclusion BC will work with community partners, senior government officials, families and educators to develop a plan to help restore publicly funded, quality, Inclusive Education in BC schools by:

1. Developing and distributing a family survey (to be completed by 400 families with regional representation) and report on adverse behavioral techniques, training gaps, families who have removed their children with special needs from schools, and suspensions being implemented in K-12.

2. Increasing the percentage of educators involved within our movement by 5% as measured by our committee meetings and learning events.

3. Identify, showcase and celebrate 2-3 examples of best practice in inclusive education.


HOME SHARE RATES

(Presented by Gail Meier, Pathways Abilities Society)

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, Home Share has and continues to be the dominant residential option being offered to people with diverse-abilities in BC, resulting in a tremendous, and fast paced growth in this option;

WHEREAS, the rates paid for support in Home Share are often inadequate to meet the support needs of individuals;

WHEREAS, the rates set for Home Share makes it difficult and in some cases, impossible to attract qualified providers and for Agencies to provide appropriate levels of support; and

WHEREAS, there has been a failure on the part of CLBC to increase Home Share rates in more than 10 years;

RESOLVED, that Inclusion BC work with CLBC to ensure agencies and home share providers are compensated appropriately based on the needs of those they are supporting in order to ensure Home Share is a safe, viable and quality residential option.