|For Immediate Release
Sept. 29, 2016
|Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation|
New motorcycle permit for people with disabilities launched
VANCOUVER - Thanks to the launch of a new motorcycle permit for people with disabilities, created by SPARC BC and supported by the provincial government, more people will be able to make use of designated parking spots, which will allow them to have access to parks, recreational facilities and services in their communities.
While motorcycles are not always top of mind when people think about designated parking for people with disabilities, SPARC BC has received a number of requests from permit holders who ride motorcycles. These requests often come in May or June as the weather improves and people start to look for ways to enjoy the outdoors and opportunities to fully engage with their communities.
The new motorcycle permits support Accessibility 2024, a 10-year action plan to make B.C. the most progressive province in Canada by 2024 for people with disabilities. A key goal under Accessibility 2024 is for British Columbia communities to have the most accessible transportation options in Canada.
Working with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and B.C.'s Accessibility Secretariat, SPARC BC developed a decal that can be placed on the windshield or other visible spot of a motorcycle. This allows motorcycles to park in any parking spot designated for people with disabilities. The decal contains all the essential information of a regular parking permit, making it possible to confirm that the individual is a valid permit holder and to ensure that local bylaws can be enforced, while enabling greater access to communities.
Motorcycle permits are available through SPARC BC's Parking Permit Program for People with Disabilities. As well, SPARC BC will work with other permit-issuing agencies throughout B.C. to ensure that their permit holders who ride motorcycles can also have access to these permits. All they need to do is contact SPARC BC and show proof that they are a valid permit holder in B.C.
Motorcycle permit holders must carry their parking placard with them or have their SPARC BC wallet card as proof that they are the valid permit holder.
New applicants or existing permit holders who require a decal for their motorcycles should contact the Parking Permit Program at SPARC BC at 604 718-7744, or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Motorcycle permits are available for the same cost as a regular parking permit and must be renewed annually. Assistance is available through SPARC BC if cost is a barrier.
SPARC BC helped establish the Parking Permit Program for People with Disabilities in B.C. and Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation has been the provincial lead on the program for more than 30 years.
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation -
“Increasing accessible transportation options for people with disabilities is a key goal in our Accessibility 2024 action plan. SPARC BC brought forward an innovative way to remove barriers and create more inclusive communities. Now anyone with one of the new motorcycle permits will be able to park in spaces designated for people with disabilities.”
Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure -
“My ministry is always supportive of changes that improve accessibility for British Columbians and this new decal is a great example of this. I'm pleased that people with disabilities who ride motorcycles will now have the same access opportunities as those who drive cars.”
Linda Larson, MLA for Boundary-Similkameen -
“I would like to thank Michael Warren for bringing the parking issue to my attention. The result was working through collaboration between the ministries of Social Development and Innovation, and Transportation, and SPARC for a solution that created the very first BC Accessibility parking permit for motorcycle riders with disabilities.”
Steve Harvard, board president, SPARC BC -
“This initiative helps to ensure that our communities are as accessible and inclusive as possible, while still maintaining the integrity of the program. It also shows what can be accomplished when people and communities come together.”
Michael Warren, Oliver resident -
“I would like to thank MLA Linda Larson for her hard work in bringing this issue to the ministries responsible. This truly is history in the making. The new sticker will enable riders with mobility issues to get around a lot easier, and fits nicely into the Accessibility 2024 action plan.”
SPARC BC: http://www.sparc.bc.ca/
For more information on Accessibility 2024, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/accessibility.
View a list of cross-government services for people with disabilities in B.C.: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/services-for-people-with-disabilities
Ministry of Social Development and Social
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect
SPARC BC, First Call, SFU and Single Mothers’ Alliance Call for Change
Navigating British Columbia’s social assistance system can be challenging. This report shares the stories and experiences of single parent families and the struggle they face in meeting their everyday needs.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vancouver, B.C., January 15, 2016 – The 2015 Child Poverty Report Card released by First Call noted that “one in five children in B.C. are poor”. Many of these children are living in single parent family households.
This report, entitled “Walking the Line to Put Their Families First”, looks at the challenges faced by many female-led single parent families across British Columbia as they struggle to meet the needs of their families. Income assistance rates in British Columbia have not increased since 2007 which means that single parents and their children who rely on this form of assistance continue to fall further behind as the cost of housing and other basic essentials continue to increase.
“At the heart of this report are conversations that are not often heard. The mothers who participated in this study come from a wide variety of backgrounds but are united in their poverty and their desire to give their children the best possible life” said Lorraine Copas, Executive Director for SPARC BC, one of the lead agencies in the development of the report.
The Single Mothers’ Alliance has been pleased to be a part of this report said Viveca Ellis, Co-Founder of the Single Mothers’ Alliance. “This report highlights the complex combination of the extremely high cost of childcare, precarious work, and the gaps in our safety net and the impact that this has on single parent families everywhere who are struggling to put food on the table and to ensure that their children have a happy, healthy childhood.”
“As a society, it is not acceptable that 1 in 3 female-led single parent families across B.C. are living in poverty with no pathway forward” said Dr. Jane Pulkingham Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at SFU, and one of the lead researchers in the study. “When I look at how little has been done to address this issue at the government level, I feel like we are actively choosing to leave a whole generation of families and children behind. This is very troubling”.
“This report recommends higher income assistance rates and removing other systemic barriers that trap single mothers and their children in poverty. These are the solutions that could be included in a comprehensive poverty reduction plan for BC,” said Adrienne Montani, Provincial Coordinator for First Call.
This report highlights the need for the government to re-visit many of the policy changes introduced in early 2001 and which robbed families and children of the chance to realize their full potential. While the Provincial government has made small incremental changes at the policy level since that time, there is still the need to look at the policies and the choices made to ensure that all families have the support that they need to give their children the best possible start in life.
There were 149,010 female-led single parent families in British Columbia in 2011. Of these, households 43,665 (29%) were living in poverty.
Children living in lone parent family households account for almost half of all of the children living in poverty in B.C. Based on the 2015 Child Poverty Report Card, there were 81,970 children in single parent family households who were living in poverty (BC Child Poverty Report Card, 2015:15)
The median household income for female-led single parent family households in B.C. in 2013 was $36,050.
For a lone parent family household who was in low income in 2013 and who had one child, their annual income was $14,300 or approximately 59% of the established poverty line for 2013 ($24,319).
As the cost of food, clothing and other basic essentials continues to increase, many single parent family households relying on income assistance continue to fall further behind. The last increase in income assistance rates was in 2007.
Many families also struggle with the high cost of housing in B.C. In 2011, there were 126,040 family households who were renting and who were in core housing need. Of these households, more than one in 3 was a single parent family household.
Data published by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and reported in the 2015 Child Poverty Report Card showed that one in 3 children in B.C. in single parent family households were in core housing need. The data also showed that of all of the provinces across Canada, B.C. had the 2nd highest proportion of children from single parent family households in core housing need.
Of the 47,660 single parent families in core housing need, more than one in 4 (13,525) were in “worst case housing need”. These are households that are in core housing need and spending 50% or more of their income on their housing costs. Many of these households are precariously housed and ‘at risk’ of homelessness through economic eviction.
In 2011, the average monthly rent for a single parent family household in B.C. was $986 per month while the average annual income was $45,531. For a single parent family household in core housing need, the average income was $26,854.
This report calls attention to the devastating impact of the large gaps in our social safety net and calls for immediate changes in government policies to ensure that every child in B.C. be given a chance for a brighter future.
For Information About the Report Contact:
Lorraine Copas, Executive Director, Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC BC) 604-718-7736
Viveca Ellis, Co-Founder, Single Mothers’ Alliance of BC, 604-366-1008
Adrienne Montani, Provincial Coordinator, First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition 604-877-4932
Dr. Jane Pulkingham, Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean, SFU, email@example.com