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

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

Just Posted

This Dec. 2, 2020, file photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)
Interior Health notes 80 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

108 people in the region have died from the virus

The Horsefly Community Hall will be the site of a mobile vaccine clinic March 19, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Six COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open in Cariboo Chilcotin

100 Mile, Alexis Creek, Big Lake, Horsefly, Williams Lake and Tatla Lake

A Williams Lake area family living on Knife Creek Road lost everything to a house fire on Wednesday, March 3. (Photo submitted)
House fire destroys rural family home south of Williams Lake

The Macdonalds built their home on Knife Creek Road about 30 years ago

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Public input sought for B.C.’s police act review

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

A new daycare in Tl’etinqox (Anaham) will be located across the road from the Datsan Chugh building. (Tl’etinqox Government Facebook photo)
Daycare approved to be built at Tl’etinqox First Nation

“We’re excited,” said Chief Joe Alphonse

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

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

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complaints about that condo

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. A joint federal and B.C. government housing program announced today aims to help people living in up to 25,000 vulnerable households pay their rent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal, B.C. governments announce $517-million rent aid program to help vulnerable

Benefits for those not eligible for B.C.’s Rental Assistance Program or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters

Most Read