Liberal MLA Randy Hawes questions government's approach to community living

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      A B.C. Liberal backbencher has called for a "top-to-bottom" examination of his government's treatment of adults with developmental disabilities.

      Former cabinet minister Randy Hawes (Abbotsford-Mission) said in the legislature that the government must also move immediately "to provide service for those needing it".

      "Madam Speaker, in the over 10 years that I've been in this Legislature, there's no issue that's caused me more loss of sleep or more concern for those most vulnerable people," Hawes said, according to Hansard. "We need to act now."

      He talked about one couple in their 70s with a 50-year-old developmentally disabled child. The wife is slipping into Alzheimer's disease.

      "They've looked after that boy for 50 years," Hawes said. "Now, they get three days a week of respite for the boy, but the father has said: 'I can't look after my wife. I have a heart condition that has started. I can't look after the boy and my wife. I need two more days a week of respite, and I think I can cope.' "

      According to Hawes, the man was told that "there is no availability of more service for him, so he's facing the heartbreaking choice of giving up his son to care, which is going to cost more."

      "So I have a little bit of trouble understanding the rationale there," he commented.

      Hawes also told a tale about a single mom whose 19-year-old daughter needs 24-7 care. "The mother was told: 'If you have to give up your job, I guess you have to go on welfare'," he said. "That's not right."

      Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.

      Comments

      3 Comments

      glen p robbins

      Oct 17, 2011 at 6:24pm

      Good, for being honest

      11 8Rating: +3

      Salty one

      Oct 18, 2011 at 8:32am

      Hawes will be silenced by his masters today. That, or he will clarify his statements to the media with Lib-spin.

      11 9Rating: +2

      ds

      Oct 18, 2011 at 9:10pm

      Finally a breath of fresh air coming from a member of the liberal govt. Thank-you for being honest and speaking the truth as to what is happening and what should be done. Too bad there aren't more of you in this govt.It would make for a better B.C.

      11 5Rating: +6