As BC’s snap election campaign accelerates, many of those affected by disability are feeling forgotten, after months of being virtually ignored by the current government during the pandemic, and years of neglect by successive governments. Many families are hunkered down in survival mode as October 24, Election Day 2020, draws near.
Yet progress for people with disabilities in Canada has often come about through political pressure, which means elections are a time for family members, individuals with disabilities, and the network of professionals who support their survival, to come together to ask all candidates about their commitments to the most vulnerable in our communities.
ACT has developed this page to gather election resources from disability organizations that prioritize the needs of aboriginal communities, those living in poverty and racialized minorities. It is our hope that this will help keep the focus on these issues, not just in the run-up to the election but as the new ministers receive their mandates from the next premier of British Columbia. ACT would like to see every minister be required to commit to meaningful change to lessen the impact of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable in our communities and to establish effective systems for the future to support and protect disabled people.
A special request to professionals and para-professionals supporting families and individuals living with disabilities: in this time of intense isolation, you can make a difference by writing to your candidates and asking them where they stand. Self-advocates and caregivers have important perspectives. Your voices are important too, especially when you or those you help are under such pressure. Speak up, please.
Below you will find resources gathered by community organizations in preparation for the upcoming election. Remember, the goal is not to elect any party, it is to press all parties to articulate where they stand on protecting those with disabilities. This is so after the election, we can track how accountable they are to their promises.
If you see resources that ACT hasn’t included, please send the link to [email protected].
First Call BC Provincial Election Toolkit 2020
Elections BC: Services for At-Risk Voters
A look at B.C. parties’ underwhelming education platforms – Georgia Straight
Make the most of the darn election – Georgia Straight
Parents of child with autism in ‘agony’ over back-to-school plan – Vancouver Sun
Kids with diverse needs are being left behind — again – Georgia Straight