Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell after winning the 100m gold medal at the Paralympic World Championships in Lyon

New B.C. minister to face child support controversy

Paralympian MLA Michelle Stilwell takes over social development amid calls to increase social assistance, disability benefits

Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell was sworn in Monday as B.C.’s minister for social development and social innovation.

Comox Valley MLA Don McRae asked to be relieved of his cabinet role last week to deal with an illness in his family, and Premier Christy Clark appointed Stilwell to replace him.

The ministry is in charge of social assistance, provincial disability assistance and Community Living B.C., the agency responsible for people with developmental disabilities.

The cabinet change comes as the ministry reviews its long-standing policy of deducting spousal child support payments from money paid to social assistance recipients. Stilwell will likely be a target of opposition critics on that and other poverty-related issues when the B.C. legislature reconvenes Feb. 10.

A multiple medal-winning Paralympic athlete in basketball and wheelchair racing, Stilwell was elected to the B.C. legislature in May 2013, and has served as B.C. Liberal caucus chair.

Clark named Abbotsford South MLA Darryl Plecas to replace Stilwell as parliamentary secretary for seniors.

Clark has said the B.C. Liberal government will table its third balanced budget on Feb. 17, after considering revenues and spending priorities such as an increase in social assistance rates.

 

Just Posted

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Cross-examination begins for Oak Bay dad accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Camosun mechanical engineering project solve real-world problems

Showcase included projects that confound conventional wisdom, garner industry interest

Arenas, fitness centre ready for action after significant flood at Saanich recreation centre

Library branch, archives remain closed after Thursday night flood

Midway will open early at the 2019 Saanich Fair

This year the fair will pilot a “sneak peek” and the main stage will feature April Wine

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Most Read