The more things change, the more they stay the same.
This appears to be the situation at Community Living B.C. (CLBC) following the provincial government’s decision last week to reappoint five directors to the CLBC board — a decision that MLA Nicholas Simons says sends the wrong message to families who are calling for reform and an independent review to the troubled agency.
“I keep being surprised when the government misses perfect opportunities to make real changes at CLBC. This is just another example,” said Simons, the NDP Powell River - Sunshine Coast MLA and the Opposition’s critic for CLBC and deputy critic for Social Development and Housing.
“It makes me wonder, where is the evidence that the government is committed to change at CLBC? It’s not just the board that oversaw a lot of bad policies, but where’s the change?”
CLBC was set up to help individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, but recently the agency has been criticized for group home closures and bonuses for senior management.
Social Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux said she needs continuity on the board to help implement 12 recommendations from a recent internal review.
The five CLBC board members who’ve been reappointed were at the end of their terms. Four current board members are still in the middle of their terms. One new member was appointed, as well.
“There are no easy answers to the problems at CLBC, but this government is getting the easy stuff wrong, and then using word games to explain what they meant,” added Simons.
“People receiving services in this sector need to have trust in the agency, something that it has slowly been losing. The fact that there’s no change is symptomatic of a government that doesn’t really know which direction to go, and that underscores the need for an independent review.”