Cowichan Valley’s W. Jeff Leggat is an organizer of the Community Rally to Raise the Rates for Persons living with Permanent Disabilities in B.C. that will take place on the grounds of the legislature building in Victoria on March 18. (Submitted photo)

Cowichan Valley’s W. Jeff Leggat is an organizer of the Community Rally to Raise the Rates for Persons living with Permanent Disabilities in B.C. that will take place on the grounds of the legislature building in Victoria on March 18. (Submitted photo)

Islanders rally in Victoria to urge disability pay raise up to the poverty level

Payments currently below poverty level

The Cowichan Valley’s W. Jeff Leggat wants to see the financial support for people living with permanent disabilities in B.C. increased.

Leggat, who has a permanent disability, said people living with designated permanent disabilities in the province currently receive just $1,183 a month in governmental support, while the poverty level in Canada is considered $1,800 a month.

He said those with permanent disabilities, who make up 4.8 per cent of the population, and are receiving financial support were allowed to make up to$1,000 a month more on top of their payments, but the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year and its impact on the economy have left many with little or no opportunities to increase their pay.

RELATED STORY: CANADA HOME TO 6.5 MILLION PEOPLE WITH ONE OR MORE DISABILITIES

“Last year, [B.C. Premier John] Horgan announced a $300 a month top up for those designated with permanent disabilities during the pandemic, but that lasted nine months before the payments were cut back to $150 a month and they will end in April,” Leggat said.

“Then we’ll be back to 2019 levels. The financial support for people living with permanent disabilities in B.C. hasn’t been increased since 2010.”

Leggat is an organizer of a grass-roots effort to hold an event, called the Community Rally to Raise the Rates for Persons living with Permanent Disabilities in B.C., on the grounds of the legislature building in Victoria on March 18 to demand that those with permanent disabilities receive financial support to at least reach the poverty level of $1,800 a month.

He said he had hoped to have a large crowd show up for the rally, but the health protocols around the COVID-19 pandemic mean the event will have to be mainly online.

RELATED STORY: CANADIANS WITH DISABILITIES DISPROPORTIONATELY HIT BY COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Leggat said all disability groups, organizations and resource centres in the province have been invited to participate in the rally, and leaders of all provincial political parties have been asked to speak at the event.

“Sonia Furstenau [the Cowichan Valley’s MLA and leader of the province’s Green Party] will speak at the rally, and an elder from the Songhees First Nation will say a prayer, as well as Minister Keith Simmonds, from the Duncan United Church,” he said.

“We are only allowed to have 25 people attend the rally at the Legislature, and they will be invited. We ask everyone else to join us on Facebook by going to Community Rally to Raise the Rates for Persons living with Permanent Disabilities in B.C. on March 18, between noon and 4 p.m.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Community

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

Just Posted

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map shows new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 11-17. (BCCDC image)
BCCDC says fresh COVID-19 cases down in most Island Health areas

Nanaimo sees its fewest new COVID-19 cases since mid January

Col. Bryn Elliott is the new wing commander of 19 Wing Comox. Photo submitted
New wing commander at 19 Wing Comox

The ceremony was presided over virtually by the commander of 1 Canadian Air Division.

Comox council voted to change the speed limit from 50 km/hr to 30 km/hr along a stretch of Lazo Road. Photo submitted
Speed limit change coming to Lazo Road in Comox

Racing, pedestrian safety issues presented to council

The new childcare centre on Denman Island opened in April. Photo, Comox Valley Schools
New Denman Island childcare facility opens

The facility offers 20 new licensed care spaces

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
AstraZeneca vaccine appointments fill up fast on Vancouver Island

More pharmacies expected to be added as supply increases

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read