Friday, 31 May 2013



The easy thing to do is grab placards,megaphones and wear T-shirts to express outrage.  And no doubt those things are going to surface today around the noonhour at the legislative grounds. A rally is planned to protest the government’s cut banks for people with developmental disabilities in Edmonton. I understand there’s fear and anger. I understand why people with disabilities and their families are going to express their emotions.

But is it time to take this to the next level? We’re entering unchartered water on several levels: a growing population with the number of people with disabilities increasing accordingly and a provincial government with — for whatever reason  — decreasing financial resources. Things have to change. Absolutely. 

And those changes are going to be across the board from assessments of service, to how programs how will run, to staffing, to many other things. On the other hand, people with disabilities have increasing needs that need to be addressed. To move forward, perhaps, we have to respect one another. We have to work with one another.
We have to have meaningful conversations. People with disabilities have gained the attention of the provincial government in the past few weeks. The government has heard, loud and clear, the unhappiness.
We need to move to the next stage of this.
We need both sides to talk; to come up with creative caring ways to move forward. 

From where I sit, today’s demonstration needs to be as peaceful as possible and a willingness of to listen to each other and work together. If not, I fear this story will only continue and frustrations, anger and fear will only rise.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you Cam The reality is that the government cannot keep spending money they don't have. because off oil price been down etc. the money is not there to keep spending lake the use to on health care etv. Look at what is happening in Europe and the 6 trrillion dollar debt in the USA. We have to work together and better use the money we have.

Anonymous said...

KPMG, the accounting firm, recommended the gov't dispand their regional boards. But these are staffed by Tory faithful across the province. This leaves a choice: save $40 million on the backs of people who can't defend themselves, or $44 million by throwing their friends out of these plush positions...

Anonymous said...

Well said. Over the past 3 + decades I have been in the field many positive changes have developed in community inclusion of individuals with disabilities. The issue here is that there has been no discussion with stakeholders.Lies have been told. Minister Hancock is surprised by all the hoopla, thinking that families, individuals and service providers were included in this process, however he is ill informed. Today is June 01st... funding allocations effective July 01st have still not been released. We know there is not endless resources,we know that all resources are precious... however when Albertans know the excessive spending done by Allison Redford's Tories to benefit themselves, these cuts are a little hard to swallow. Alberta MLA are paid more than 44% the national average, fraud in AHS employee expense accounts is rampant, a couple of million in severance pay for people leaving Redford's office..... I could go on and on, but you get the point. We WANT to come to the table, we WANT to have some collaborative discussion... however the arrogance of the Redford government is saying, we know what is best. Paternalism at it's best.

Anonymous said...

Come to the TABLE???? there is no table with the REDFORD gov't, only a PULPIT. We'd love to work as a team, however as the previous commenter suggested it is June 01st and the clock is ticking.... Frank Olberle is spending time touring the province with his slick rhetoric that is trying to soothe the concerns, but is only serving to enrage.