Friday, November 5, 2004

AISH Forum

I attended, and spoke at, today's forum on AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped) - which was put on by various folks, including the Disability Action Hall (who I've been supporting and periodically working with for the past few years).

With all the attention AISH has finally been getting, it has been wonderful to see people unanimously acknowledging that the real issue is that people can't survive on the woefully inadequate funding that AISH provides. It seems very likely that we're going to get at least one good thing out of this election - better support for AISH recipients. The public won't accept less (I hope).

One of the people at the event commented to me afterwards that a point I raised, in my speech, really stood out for them. I had repeated something I've been saying to a lot of people during this campaign (and in my work with anti-poverty groups before going political):
Support programs for low-income Albertans are not costs - they are investments. They are investments that pay back in the long run if we genuinely attend to, and meet, the needs of, disadvantaged people. The only real costs are those we incur when we fail to ensure the well-being of every Albertan.
Every time someone has to choose between food and rent.
Every time someone becomes homeless.
Every time someone's health problems aren't treated.
Every time - is a cost to our society, every time is a failure to live up to our responsibilities.

I also took some photos at the AISH Forum.

(Copied from my election blog.)