NDP calls for Community Living BC overhaul

The B.C. NDP held a rally in Vancouver on Sunday, calling on the Liberal government to overhaul its "chronic mismanagement" of Community Living BC

CLBC fired CEO on Friday

The B.C. NDP held a rally in Vancouver on Sunday, calling on the Liberal government to overhaul its "chronic mismanagement" of Community Living BC.

NDP Leader Adrian Dix accused the Liberal government of failing families living with disabilities.

He said the firing of CLBC CEO Rick Mowles late Friday "exposes further chaos" in the system.

"There is a deteriorating situation on the ground and changing staff will not resolve the chaos group home closures are creating for CLBC clients and their families," Dix said.

"Nor will it reverse program cuts that have left 2,800 people waiting for services, and have youth losing services when they turn 19 though their needs remain unchanged."

'New leadership'

Late Friday evening, the CLBC board of directors issued a statement announcing Mowles' departure effective immediately, saying the board was seeking new leadership.

"The Board has a vision for the evolution of the organization which will require new leadership to move it forward," said board chair Denise Turner in a written release.

CLBC vice-president Doug Woollard will take over as interim CEO until a replacement is hired.

'Funding shortfall'

At Sunday's rally, Dix and CLBC critic Nicholas Simons called on legislators to impose a moratorium on group home closures and agree to an independent review of the CLBC.

Simons is expected to introduce a motion in the legislature Monday for the government to take action.

"We have seen the Liberals create chaos with a revolving door of four different ministers responsible for community living in the past year, including two since Christy Clark became premier only seven months ago," said Simons.

"Now they’ve passed the blame onto the CEO of CLBC, but ultimately the province's funding shortfall is responsible for failures at CLBC. Until the government does a real review of the agency we're going to have the same problems."

The government has been under fire from social advocacy groups who say group homes are closing and people with disabilities and their families are facing cuts in services.

Last month, the government put an additional $6 million into CLBC, which provides supports to 13,600 people.