Letter: BC Liberals claw back disabled woman’s meagre financial allotment

Open letter to MLA Norm Letnick:

I am writing you, as my MLA, to ask you to comment on a situation that puzzles me exceedingly.

I am a 61-year-old disabled woman, suffering from multiple chemical and food sensitivities, degenerative disc disease, and type 2 diabetes. 

My total income (and wealth) consists of a disability pension of $941.42 per month, which includes a (laughable) dietary allowance of $35 for a high-protein diet.

In 2010, CPP provided me with $641.28 of this amount, while the province of B.C. provided the other $300.14.

As of January 2011, CPP applied a cost-of-living increase of 1.7 per cent, or $10.90 (not nearly enough to cover the increasing food prices, but at least it’s something).  As of February, however, the province of B.C. has reduced its share to $289.24.

Yes! The government of B.C. has, in effect, stolen from me the $10.90 cost-of-living increase given to me by CPP. And, I imagine, it probably does this every year. 

If the B.C. government reduces its share of the pension each year, then each year the pensioners’ income stays the same. It’s presently pushed us below subsistence level making people with disabilities unable to afford even the new glasses, the new winter boots or the proper nutrition they need.

There is a considerable list of necessities that are not covered by your government, and if you would like to discuss them please feel free to contact me at any time.

As recent statistics show, the city of Kelowna is the fourth costliest city in B.C. in which to live, and I defy you to live here on less than $1,000 a month.  

If what your government is doing isn’t theft, it must at least be an illicit transfer of federal funds.

Mr. Letnick, can you please explain the reasoning behind this?

How much is the government of B.C. benefiting from the monthly appropriation of funds from its poorest citizens?  

And what is my $10.90 being used for? Is it compensating for some corporate tax cuts?

I would appreciate a response to this letter, justifying this unconscionable behaviour of the Liberal government of B.C.

Dawn Goyeche, Kelowna