FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2022
Where are the supports for Islanders living with a disability?
People living with disabilities have once again been left out from the recently announced government supports following Hurricane Fiona. Islanders living with a disability fall under the Access Ability program, which was created to separate them from those on Social Assistance. While it is true that not every Islander living with a disability is also in receipt of social assistance, these are still Islanders in need of social support.
People living with disabilities were impacted in equal or greater measure during and after Hurricane Fiona – think about those who rely on power chairs and lifts; special medical devices like oxygen or CPAP machines; necessary medical treatments like dialysis; and so many with complex mental and physical health needs for whom the stress of the hurricane was particularly devastating. It is an ongoing issue that they are ignored and forgotten when the government rolls out programs that are supposed to provide help to those most in need.
It is demeaning to have to beg for help, but that is what some people living with disabilities feel they need to do to get the support they deserve. On their behalf, I am calling on the Minister for Social Development and Housing to recognize that people living with disabilities fall under his responsibility as a social group who should be getting financial support in addition to the general programs already announced. And recognizing this need, get them the help they need immediately. At this point, even a gift card would do.
Hannah Bell, MLA Charlottetown-Belvedere
Official Opposition Green Critic for Finance
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