Friday, October 07, 2011

Independent review of CLBC is needed now

From today's Times Colonist editorial:

"The government's refusal to order an external review of Community Living B.C. is baffling. The throne speech, after all, promised reviews of all Crown corporations, beginning in January, "to ensure taxpayers and families are protected and the interests of all British Columbians are well served."

CLBC, as a Crown corporation, would be part of that process. All that's needed to respond to serious concerns about its performance and accountability would be to launch a review now, not in a few months.

The government has acknowledged problems at the corporation, which is responsible for supporting adults with developmental disabilities and their families. Last month, it added $8.9 million to the CLBC budget to meet "urgent health and safety needs" of clients.

When any organization requires emergency funding five months into the fiscal year because clients' health and safety are at risk, something has gone seriously wrong...."

You can and should read the rest here.

As evidence of the problems, the Times Colonist's Lindsay Kines also reports on the huge waiting lists for services for people with developmental disabilities.


Anonymous said...

There is so much that is wrong with CLBC, an independent review is necessary. The current policies are so far from the original vision of what CLBC was meant to be; Doug Woollard and Rick Mowles (when he's there)have completely corrupted the original intent. Hiring accountants and MBAs who openly state they don't want to meet the people whose supports they intend to cutback or remove appears to be typical business practice. One young newly hired MBA wag was quickly given the name 'the Butcher of Burnaby' for his ability to slice up existing contracts. His manager, lacking in management skills himself and author of the Ridge Meadows Recycling debacle of a few weeks back, gave 'the Butcher' his name.

This is the cancer families are dealing with. Daylight needs to reach into the dark places of CLBC, far away from the PR rhetoric which is only that,.... rhetoric.

paul said...

Hey Anon 4:44:
I have a couple of questions, if you'd be willing to contact me at
Paul Willcock

Anonymous said...

Community Living British Columbia delivers high-quality services to almost 14,000 adults with developmental disabilities. There is a growing budget and growing demand.

The government recognizes the importance of these services provided by CLBC to families across B.C. and is focused on finding solutions to meet their needs.

Has a Lieutenant-Governor ever refused to read the Speech from the Throne because it was too full of 5h!T?

Dawn Steele said...

Anonymous #1 makes a good point - but this is not an accident. The whole design of CLBC was premised on dividing the role of personal planning (by social worker "facilitators") and contract approval (by MBA type "analysts).

This was the Doug Walls model that families, community groups and experts warned about from the outset would be a disaster, especially if budget challenges were not resolved before implementing it. It's not that government could not have foreseen this -- they did not want to hear the warnings.

And it's not like they've learned anything from this: they're making the exact same errors with the proposed new $20 million provincial autism centre.

And those "huge" waiting lists may in fact be much longer than they're claiming. We're already hearing from families who have checked and been told that long-outstanding requests for housing supports are not noted in their files.

We know that in the past, there were requests for housing over a decade old. To get a placement in a Vancouver day program, one family had to wait for someone to die.

If the request is for residential supports, the word now from front-line CLBC staff is that you'd "have to be dying in the street" to even be considered.

What is truly appalling though is that despite alost 18 months of complaints via families and the media revealing the most eggregious conduct, including bullying and intimidation of families and care providers, and mistreatment of clients, Premier Christy Clark continues to treat it as an excercise in PR management instead of confronting the glaring evidence of deep and systemic rot.

Even if it were true that "there is no money" to address CLBC's budget woes, a prudent and responsible government would have immediately responded to the community's advice to appoint an independent advocate who could monitor and report publicly to assure the public that safety and human rights were being respected, as CLBC tried to find "efficiencies."

That the current Premier (and her predecessor) have steadfastly refused to do even that is evidence that this goes beyond incompetence or ignorance: they do not want to know who is being hurt or how badly -- and they certainly do not want the public to find out either.

This, IMHO, speaks to intent, and is noting short of criminal.

Anonymous said...

The original intent to create CLBC was to have a board of directors comprised mostly of self advocates and families, as well to remove the huge administrative costs that are part and parcel of a government ministry. To have families take a leading role in deciding supports.

The current leadership have done everything possible to remove families from the process regardless of Carla Thiesen's constant repetition that 'families have been consulted'.

I'm curious why the Premier is so stubborn about a review of CLBC, unless she suspects that she along with everyone else has been told a pack of lies. What is so glaring is that the CLBC, designed to provide effective governance for people with disabilities, has become the polar opposite.

I thought it odd that Stephanie Cadieux noted that people on the waitlist for services were in fact receiving support by way of receiving PWD benefits. She is correct of course, but if she intends to set the bar at receiving a disability pension as 'receiving services' then the situation for people with disabilities in this province has been set back 60 years.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 5:35 is absolutely right. The BC govt is happy to pay my son with autism a PWD stipend to live in abject poverty for the rest of his life, playing video games in some dreary basement from morning to night. But CLBC won't ever contribute a penny to help him get what he really wants in life: help finding and holding a job, help so that he can live in his own apartment and help managing his affairs.

People with developmental disabilities want what the rest of us want - to live as independently as possible and to live in dignity.

The current system forces people into artificial crisis and poverty. It strips them of all dignity, hope and security.

Anonymous said...

Over the years funding kept pace with the change in philosophy and policy came about is due to invention of CLBC. The folks who began their lives at Woodlands are now middle-aged and beyond. Younger disabled people who have had the advantaged of attending regular schools don't want the same thing the people in Woodlands wanted. It's as if CLBC can't get their heads around the new demographics. They seem to think that Homeshare is the only residential option not wanting to understand that there is a huge missing piece for some people....and this is the social piece. Rick Mowles has convinced everyone that group homes are not normal, completely forgetting that groups of single people often live together for company and financial efficiency; guess he was never a poor student either. He certainly doesn't know what it's like to be the parent of a disabled child.

Anonymous said...

the bc leg opened last week and princess cc started dancing right away

you'll want to start reading "Oral Questions" just before the [1350] mark

Don't forget: October is Community Living Month!

Anonymous said...

Rumour also has it that Rick Mowles and CLBC (as per the BC Liberals) hate unions.

So while getting rid of group homes is terrible for clients it is also: cheaper and union-busting.

Unions have been one of the strongest sources of opposition to the BC Liberals. Hence the Liberal's strategic long term actions with: BC Hydro and CUPE, BCTF, HEU, out-sourcing BCGEU member jobs, privatizing liquor stores and replacing RNs with LPNs.

P.S. Successful economies like Germany and Sweden are highly unionized. The U.S is not.