Ministerial visit gives opportunity for self-advocacy

Don McRae, minister of social development and social innovation, stopped by the HOMES Society to talk about self-advocacy

Don McRae

Don McRae

Joe Rikley and Bryce Schaufelberger’s work focuses on self-advocating for the needs of people with disabilities – work that includes ensuring the government has heard their needs and concerns.

Rikley and Schaufelberger, who work for the HOMES Society in Abbotsford, run a website made by self-advocates with disabilities for others sharing their challenges. The website – – aims to use technology to help connect people with disabilities and let them share their stories, successes and challenges.

Don McRae, minister of social development and social innovation, stopped by the HOMES Society – a group that organizes supportive housing for people with disabilities or mental health issues – on Monday as part of his tour around the province during Community Living Month in B.C.

Community Living Month is designed to recognize the contributions of people with developmental disabilities and those who assist them. This year’s theme is inclusion and employment.

McRae will meet with local employers, service providers, home share providers and individuals to discuss opportunity and challenges in the sector.

One of those challenges, Rikley and Schaufelberger told the minister, is what they see as budget cuts to service providers.

In April, a new labour contract was ratified by unions and employers in the community social services sector, which provided a three per cent wage increase for front-line workers, including people who work with those with disabilities.

Rikley said that at that time, the government pledged to fund the wage increase. But now it will not, which means community agencies will have to find savings internally in order to fund the wage increases.

McRae said the government doesn’t see it as a cut, as funds are not being taken away. But organizations will have to creatively find savings to pay the wage increases.

“I want to make sure services aren’t cut.”

Just Posted

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read