A challenge issued by a local disabled man, Steven Willment, has meet a mixed reaction from senior provincial government officials.
On Dec. 21, Willment challenged B.C. Minister of Employment and Income Assistance Claude Richmond, B.C. NDP leader Carole James, NDP opposition critic for Income Assistance Claire Trevena and our local MLAs to sit down to dinner with three local disabled people and discuss the issues facing the disabled in B.C.
“Trevena said she would come, so it looks like we’ll have some NDP representation,” Willment said.
Minister Richmond was not available for comment.
However, a ministry spokesperson said a written letter would be the most appropriate way to issue an invitation.
None of the other people invited have responded to his invitation, Willment said.
Willment’s story ran on Dec. 9 in the Prince George Free Press.
Like thousands of other disabled people of the province, he is required to live off of $856 a month in income assistance provided by the province.
Willment said this amount of money doesn’t afford even a poverty-line existence for himself or his six-year-old son, who currently lives with his mother.
If government decision-makers have a chance to hear first-hand accounts of what living on disability is like in this province, he said, hopefully they will take action to do something about it.