Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Minister's autism claims 'nonsensical'


Minister of Children and Family Development Mary Polak claims she improved services for autistic children by cutting the Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention program at Queen Alexandra Centre for Child Health. This is nonsensical.

Cumulatively, she has cut more than $3 million provincewide from autism services for children under six.

In her announcement last September, Polak tried to disguise this cut as an improvement in service, claiming that eliminating Queen Alexandra's $5-million intensive therapy program allows the government to increase funding for all autistic children under 6 from $20,000 to $22,000.

Given the number of autistic children in the province, this actually reduced overall funding to the under-six group by more than $3 million.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This is Prostate Cancer Awareness Week

A post for all the men out there. 

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian men - it will afflict 1 in 6 men. If you are over forty it is important to know the facts.

Symptoms of prostate cancer may include slow or painful urination, blood or pus in the urine, painful ejaculation and pain in the lower back or abdomen, pelvis or upper thighs. If this sounds like you - see a doctor right away!

The good news is that in most cases, prostate tumours grow relatively slowly. It usually takes years for tumours to become large enough to be detectable and it takes even longer for them to spread out of the prostate. 

The bad news is that a small number of men have aggressive prostate cancers that grow and spread quickly. At diagnosis, it is tough to know which category a man falls into and this can make treatment decisions hard. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

BC Government continues to fail children with autism

Hollie and Cooper
Today is the one year anniversary of a fateful decision. On Sept. 16, 2009, Mary Polak, the Minister for Children and Family Development, announced she was cutting early intensive therapy (EIBI) for children with autism.

EIBI has decades of proven research behind it. Children with autism who receive it are better able to lead fulfilling lives and become productive members of society.

Given that EIBI likely reduces the lifetime costs of supporting individuals with autism by 65%, this decision was short-sighted. This cut will end up costing us all more money in the long-term.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Saanich Family Gets Help!

Good news!

Last week I told you about Ruth Horst and her fight to get bus passes for her children. Ruth works hard to take care of her five children but she is also disabled and cannot afford the $1400 it costs to buy the annual bus passes that most of her kids need to get to school.

Last week I also contacted every service club and charitable organization I could think of to see if they could help.

I’m really happy to share with you that at the eleventh-hour, the Salvation Army came forward with the funds needed for this school year.

Ruth and her family are very grateful to the Salvation Army and everyone else who showed concern and offered support in different ways.

But the larger problem highlighted by Ruth's story is unchanged.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Let's Swarm the Legislature!

The bees need your help!

Last year more than 90% of the honey-bees on the island died!

And what is worse, the provincial government's response has been to weaken the protections for our precious island bees.

Bee-keepers from across Vancouver Island ask you to join them for a rally: