CUPE News
Also in this section:

September 15, 2011

   |   Share This Story   

Chopping volunteer program ‘hurts most vulnerable’

MAPLE RIDGE—The BC Liberal government’s decision to terminate a supported volunteer program funded by Community Living BC is a poorly conceived cost-cutting move that only punishes society’s most vulnerable, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

The volunteer program, run by Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Community Services, currently supports 28 clients referred by CLBC. The purpose of the program is to support adults with disabilities to participate and contribute in their community, through a volunteer placement in a non-profit agency. The program ends on December 1.

“This program has been funded by CLBC for 20 years, and most of the clients have been accessing the service since day one,” says CUPE 3941 president Charlene Linden. “Pulling the rug out from under these people is really unfair. It robs them of opportunities to engage with the larger community.”

Linden says the program provides a bridge between volunteer training and real employment—a positive step that CLBC is aiming for “real work for real pay”.

During the past year, the 28 program clients have contributed a total of 5,400 volunteer hours throughout Maple Ridge/ Pitt Meadows. The program has a total of 14 agencies. Local agencies include the Family Education Support Centre, SPCA, and Meals on Wheels.

Linden sees the program’s termination as part of a disturbing trend in provincial funding that devalues community-based services for the disabled. Earlier this week another 20-year program of the CLBC, Ridge Meadows Recycling Depot, was cut. And another group home will be closed in Powell River.

“These clients really value the program, and don’t see it as a volunteer placement—it’s more like a job for them,” she says. “But most could not find a job on their own, so what are they going to do now? Some of them are older, and it’s difficult to look for work. What kind of message is the government sending, by leaving them out in the cold?”

cope491

Related News

Township of Langley Arenas brought back in-house

Apr 13, 2016

TOWNSHIP OF LANGLEY- CUPE 403 is proud to announce that after nearly 20 years two arenas in the Township of Langley will once again be operated in-house. more...

CUPE 15 urges public to stand up for public education

Apr 12, 2016

VANCOUVER - The Vancouver School Board is considering permanent closure of 12 to 13 schools in order to balance their budget. The BC Liberal government more...

Community Social Services: New agreement on portability and retention reached

Apr 08, 2016

Earlier this year, an agreement was reached that could allow union members covered by the Community Social Services (CSS) General Services, Community Living more...

Sooke Wastewater Services to be delivered in-house

Apr 08, 2016

SOOKE – The District of Sooke has voted unanimously to end their contract with for-profit contractor EPCOR and bring wastewater services in-house. Sooke more...

Click here for the archive