Text Size

Our new report shows the continued systemic use of restraint and seclusion in BC schools. Read more.

Watch our 60th Anniversary video that honours and remembers the civil rights history of people with intellectual disabilities in BC. Read more about our history here.

BC Budget Report Urges Investments in Inclusion

Summary: 
BC's Standing Committee on Finance & Government Services releases advice on priorities for BC's next provincial budget

The all-party Standing Committee on Finance & Government Services today released its report and recommendations for BC's next provincial budget, based on fiscal priorities identified by British Columbians in its recent public consultations.

The Committee's advice reflects the key priorities identified by Inclusion BC:

  • Introduce a new portable rental subsidy so that people with disabilities who rely on provincial PWD benefits can access affordable housing,
  • Raise PWD rates to reflect the true cost of living,
  • Strengthen K-12 supports to support inclusive education,
  • Invest in the Supported Child Care Development program.

Selected recommendations in our key priority areas

Read the full report here.

Education: 

"The Committee heard that there is a need to train and recruit more educational assistant specialists to ensure adequate supports for children and youth with special needs and their teachers. While a significant number of new teachers were hired in September 2017, this recruitment did not include special needs and educational support staff. As a result, the gap in resources in this critical area has become even more pronounced."

Recommendation: Ensure that teachers are well supported to implement inclusion, equity, and quality learning opportunities for all students, including diverse learners, by increasing funding to allow schools to hire more trained educational assistants and specialists.

Persons with Disabilities Benefits:

"The Committee discussed income and disability assistance rates, and agreed that a further increase as well as review of clawback policies is required to ensure the necessary supports are available for British Columbians who rely on these benefits."

Recommendation: Increase the rate of income and disability assistance benefits to ensure they reflect the current cost of living, index rates to inflation, and review policies which stipulate earned income to identify additional exclusions

Housing:

Recommendation: Expand the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) program to create a portable rental subsidy or renter’s grant to allow those receiving disability benefits or those in lower income ranges to access market rentals or co-op housing.

Child Care:

"Dedicated resources to support this [Aboriginal/supported child development] and other programs, particularly in regard to ensuring extensive waitlists are addressed, is an integral part of the funding and implementation of a child care response plan."

Recommendations:

  • Increase investments in accessible, quality and affordable child care, particularly infant and toddler programs, and address the significant need for supports required to ensure inclusion for children with disabilities.
  • Increase access to early childhood identification and intervention services, including occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language pathology, with a focus on addressing urgent recruitment and retention challenges of professionals in this sector. 

Inclusion BC thanks all the individuals and organizations that participated in the BC Budget consultations, helping us send a strong clear message on the urgency of building a strong province by investing in people first, particularly vulnerable citizens who have too often been left behind.

TAKE ACTION! Help us build on these strong recommendations. Ask your MLA to join us in building a more inclusive province by urging BC Premier John Horgan and Finance Minister Carole James to support these key recommendations for BC's next provincial budget.