One of the hardest things for a politician to do (no jokes, please) is to stand up for his/her constituents when that means publicly standing up to the boss. Especially when that calls for putting political partisanship aside to support colleagues on the other side of the political divide because you think it’s the right thing to do.
Which is why MOMS wants to applaud the courage of BC Liberal MLA Randy Hawes, who stood up and delivered a moving statement in the BC Legislature today that publicly challenged Premier Christy Clark today over her handling of BC’s community living crisis and urged his own government to commission an external review of CLBC
Read the report on this extraordinary act in the Victoria Times Colonist:
UPDATE: Another BC Liberal MLA, Gordon Hogg, joined Hawes in expressing concern and discomfort over his government’s management of community living. Hogg was the minister responsible for community living in 2001 when his government agreed to far-reaching reforms that he promised would significantly improve services for people with developmental disabilities. Many of those early commitment have now been abandonned as CLBC struggles to deal with massive budget shortfalls.
Read Surrey White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg’s comments in the Globe and Mail
The comments were made in the BC Legislature today after an NDP motion was introduced by MLA Nicholas Simons, calling on government to stop group home closures. The Opposition NDP has been working tirelessly with families to bring forward the community living concerns and has endorsed community calls for a moratorium on cuts and group home closures and an external review of CLBC. But the statements by these two government MLAs put their own political careers in jeopardy – the ultimate selfless act for any elected official.
UPDATE #2: Well, something truly extraordinary is unfolding in BC! A third BC Liberal MLA, former Cabinet Minister John van Dongen, has now stepped up and criticized his own government’s handling of the community living crisis, as Premier Christy Clark and Minister Stephanie Cadieux continue to try to deny that there is any crisis. And according to this report in the Vancouver Sun, other BC Liberal MLAs have also been privately echoing the concerns that the Opposition NDP members have been raising in the Legislature almost every day.
Read the Vancouver Sun report on MLA John Van Dongen’s criticism of his government’s treatment of people with developmental disabilities.
Please take a moment to email Mr Hawes (email@example.com), Mr. Hogg (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Mr Van Dongen (email@example.com) to thank them for their courageous acts: Consider cc-ing their boss, Premier Christy Clark, and urging her to follow their leadership: firstname.lastname@example.org
We sincerely thank Mr. Hawes and Mr. Hogg for putting aside partisanship and doing the right thing for their constituents. We urge Premier Clark and their colleagues to do the same and to join the broader community working to resolve the crisis in community living!
Dawn & Cyndi, MOMS