Letter: Keep affordable bus passes for disabled in B.C.

This government…has chosen to attack and abuse some of our most vulnerable citizens…counting on their lack of ability to defend themselves.

To the editor:

With only three months remaining, I believe it is time to take some sort of action regarding the removal of affordable transit service for persons with disabilities. To ask a person living on disability assistance of less than $11,000 a year to now pay $624 a year to ride transit is not only unfair, it is cruel. This increase from $45 a year, represents a 133 per cent increase to their transit pass. This will cause not only undue hardship, it will decrease their ability to remain active participants in our community, but it will also impact their safety.

The government has ignored any requests or petitions to restore the $45-per-year bus pass insisting that, come Sept. 1 when they increase their income assistance by $77, that they now just decide whether to keep the $77 ($983/month) or to surrender $52 of the $77 to pay for a monthly bus pass and survive on $931/month. I am certain many are asking themselves whether or not the new increase was truly worth it, if it cost them the loss of affordable transit services. What is next? Taking the same annual transit passes away from low income seniors?

Persons with disabilities who purchased their 2016 yearly bus pass need to know that they did so with the understanding that it expired (as it always has) on Dec. 31. So is it right for government to ask them to start paying for a monthly pass in September, when there is still four months remaining on their 2016 pass? I believe they should keep your $77 increase…you will need it, and continue to use your annual bus pass until it expires. In the meantime continue to lobby government to change its mind and restore your $45/year bus pass.

This government, in my opinion, has chosen to attack and abuse some of our most vulnerable citizens and were counting on their lack of ability to defend themselves and to be heard. Persons with Disabilities have said: Increase our monthly incomes and leave our $45/month bus passes alone.

While this government would have the general public believe that this is an issue of “equity,” it truly is not.  For the minority of persons with disability who are living in communities without transit services, the government should deal with their “transportation needs” and the transit needs the majority of persons with disabilities’ bus passes alone.

Joyce Mainland, Kelowna

 

Just Posted

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission serves annual Christmas dinner

Between 700 to 800 meals were served Saturday to the community

Your weekend story highlights

Every Saturday, the Capital News will highlight stories from the week

The Paperboys visit Kelowna

Check out the Rotary Centre for the Arts Jan. 27

Let it snow in Kelowna

Snow is in the forecast for this week

Photos: Adventuring in Stuart Park

Have you seen Friday’s edition of the Capital News? Check out the photos featured

All aboard the Summerland Christmas Express

The first train of the Summerland Christmas Express schedule.

All aboard the Summerland Christmas Express

The first train of the Summerland Christmas Express schedule.

Meningococcal clinics open this Sunday

Interior Health is stepping up efforts to get young people vaccinated against Meningococcal.

Kamloops RCMP warning public to stay away from unfolding domestic dispute

The public is being asked to avoid Sabiston Creek Road off of the highway

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of sexual harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit