by Sheenagh Morrison
On September 1st all the changes with the bus pass and Persons with Disabilities (PWD) assistance took place.
If you said “yes” to keep your bus pass then you get an extra $25 a month on your monthly PWD assistance.
If you decided to give up your bus pass, you get $77 a month increase on your PWD assistance.
I have no choice but to keep my bus pass and this is the case for thousands of others.
I need my bus pass to get around to see my friends, get to Special Olympics sporting events and to get to work and appointments.
Because I have a job, I am able to pay my rent, put food on my table, and go to Vancouver once in a while to see friends.
On September 1st there was a rally held in Victoria and in other communities across BC to protest the low PWD assistance rates and the way the bus pass issue has been handled.
At the Victoria rally my NDP MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) and friend Carole James spoke on behalf of NDP Leader John Horgan and Michelle Mungall, the NDP Critic for the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation.
There was about 75 people at the rally – people with diversabilities and their supporters.
I still think the increase in the cost of a bus pass (from $45 a year to $52 a month plus a $45 annual fee) is wrong, shameful and it’s not fair, as this is the first increase in almost 10 years on our PWD assistance cheques.
I think and feel the bus pass should be free and they should have given us more money to keep up with the increasing cost of food, housing, and everything else we need