"Our government, by comparison, is the first government in the last two decades to actually raise benefits for persons with disabilities. We fought long and hard for that, and I am glad that we were able to do it. We were able to do it because we straightened out British Columbia's financial problems" Lorne Mayencourt, MLA Vancouver Burrard.
"I do reflect sometimes on the discussions that take place in this House. I reflect first of all on some comments that I've heard even sitting here this afternoon, where someone — you know, it's the way the Legislature works in speeches — says things about transition housing or housing for the homeless or issues in and around that. I always find that interesting, because on reflection and in research it is clear that this government, in the last four years, did more in social housing and homelessness initiatives and put more funding into transition houses than the previous government did in ten. I don't think anybody should jump up on top of some pedestal and say that they are better than somebody else in taking care of humanity or caring about people." The Honourable Rich Coleman, Minister of Forests and Housing
Mayencourt continues to try to take credit for a couple of things. 1. he implies he was an advocate for changing the schedule c application process.
As one person who was involved in this a great deal on both the government side and the HIV/AIDS side, I know just how little he did do. Lorne might have said something to the press saying this was an awful state.
Lorne and the BC Liberal government in fact cut the program for people living with HIV. The NDP and MLA Tim Stevenson had announced a new benefit effective July 1, 2001 of $350 per month for People living with HIV/AIDS. The BC Liberals cut it after much more discussion to less than $240 per month and limited the number of people that could apply for the benefit.
They also disentitled people to an addition allowance of $40.00. Making the new benefit worth only $200.00.
Another Liberal lie is their continual claim to have built and provided more social housing than any government before them. This is about as far as they can go. They have claimed seniors assisted living spaces, largely being paid for by the federal government and paid for by seniors themselves as "social housing".
The units have been built at the expense of housing for others. There is no question assisted livbing housing is required. Yet the Liberals and before them the NDP had plans to expand it. The Liberals closed public facilities and reopened private buildings.
The end result was more privatization of public helath care and higher costs. The Liberals did not spend one cent in Kelowna or anywhere else in the Okanangan on affordable housing. Today over 8,000 people live in inadequate or unaffordable housing or are homeless in Kelowna alone.
In Vancouver the Liberals did go ahead with some projects considered too far advanced to be stopped. Again they can not point to any housing other than the Woodwards building and that they forced the City of Vancouver to pay 5 million dollars for.
The Liberals have a long way to go before they can claim to have done anything to improve the ranks of the homeless, under or inadequate, or unaffordable housing situation in BC. The numbers continue to grow, they grow right here in Kelowna, the heart of LIBERAL country.
Rich Coleman has a difficult job, no doubt about that. He needs to first decide to do something, then convince his colleagues it is worth doing. Don't worry about Lorne Mayencourt, he will continue as before, taking credit for all the NDP did and blame them for everything else. Its a formula for re-election.