Interim CEO defends disabled care

As the opposition kept up the political pressure on the B.C. Liberal government to halt the closure of group homes for developmentally disabled people, the interim CEO of the agency responsible held a rare news conference at the B.C. legislature Wednesday.

Community Living B.C. executive Doug Woollard

VICTORIA – As the opposition kept up the political pressure on the B.C. Liberal government to halt the closure of group homes for developmentally disabled people, the interim CEO of the agency responsible held a rare news conference at the B.C. legislature Wednesday.

Doug Woollard was promoted to replace Community Living B.C. CEO Rick Mowles, who was fired last week amid reports of families being pressured to accept home-stay placements instead of group homes with 24-hour staff.

Woollard acknowledged that there have been 15 to 20 cases where CLBC did not consult adequately with the families of clients before changing their living arrangements. He said the intent is to reach agreement with families before changes are made

For one of those cases, the Williams Road group home in Richmond, Woollard gave a specific assurance: “If we don’t reach agreement with the families, we won’t change it.”

Under opposition questioning in the legislature Tuesday, Social Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux announced that her deputy minister, along with deputies from children and family development and the health ministry, are reviewing the way all provincial services go to developmentally disabled people. Cadieux continued to reject the NDP’s call for a moratorium on group home closures, and Woollard agrees.

A moratorium would make the system too inflexible as it deals with rising demand, he said. He confirmed that 65 group homes have closed, leaving 700 more around the province. CLBC has a budget of more than $700 million, and a waiting list of 2,800 people seeking either new or increased service.

Woollard said the government is aware of the demand, and CLBC’s estimate that it would cost between $51 million and $65 million more to meet it all. Part of the demand can be met by providing service at lower cost, and it is up to the government to decide how much to increase the budget, he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

What’s in a name? Ladysmith’s historical streets re-examined

Several streets in downtown Ladysmith are named after generals that served in the Boer War

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Retired Ladysmith master mariner publishes memoir of a life at sea

John Anderson’s book: Of Times and Tides is a vivid memoir of decades in the shipping industry

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Nestle Canada selling bottled water business to local family-owned company

The Pure Life bottled water business is being sold to Ice River Springs

Major B.C. salmon farm tests new containment system to curb sea lice infestations

System “essentially eliminates” contact between wild and farmed fish stocks, says Cermaq

Most Read