September 18, 2020

"It's time to work together Alberta to protect everyone's future!"

 

MEDIA ADVISORY, for immediate release

It’s time to work together Alberta to protect everyone’s future!

A response to the recent AISH announcements from the Alberta Government

Members of the Disability Action Hall have growing concerns about the amount of news coverage concerning the Assured Income for Severely Handicapped (AISH) program in the past week. For Albertans who have gone through the difficult application process to get AISH, and who rely on the $1685 monthly allowance to survive, it is very worrisome.

We don’t understand why the government did not come to talk to us before making any changes to AISH. Many of us are afraid to speak out for fear of being targeted. We have a lot of questions for the government and hope to talk with them to get some answers. We want to try to work together. We don’t understand how tweaking a well-regulated program with low-fraud rates will really solve the bigger revenue problem of Alberta? We have the same question as popular Calgary Sun political columnist Rick Bell: “Why is the Premier going after skinny cats when there are fat cats?” 

Why is the government looking at people who are already struggling, who face multiple barriers in affording to live in Calgary, who have lost any employment income they might have had, who are at risk of being COVID food insecure and who are at high risk of being triggered into mental illness from these news announcements?

"For my 33-page guide to the application and the 18-page guide and application my doctor filled out, it was a hard process. I would like the government to know it is not an easy program to get onto, especially if you have a hidden disability. I also went through a 16-hour additional test to help the government understand my disability and how it affects my day-to-day, as well as my ability to work,” says Mary Salvani.

Now is not the time to pick on those who are most at risk. There is nothing to win and much to lose in terms of increased homelessness, food insecurity, mental, and physical health costs. We think the pandemic has created an opportunity for all political parties to put their heads together with Albertans and get through these hard times; a time to work together in solidarity and to create new solutions for all Albertans.

 

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