On June 19, we wrote to the Ombudsperson for the Province of British Columbia to ask that recent service reductions at the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation be investigated further. The Office of the Ombudsperson investigates complaints about unfair treatment and actions by public authorities, including the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation.
In our letter, we outlined our opposition to these changes, and asked the Ombudsperon to investigate the service reductions:
The recent changes in service delivery have created new barriers that negatively impact our ability to access necessary services, and get information about our cases in a timely way. Our experiences applying for income assistance and disability benefits, and navigating the “welfare system” alongside our members have brought into focus the many barriers to access, such as lengthy and unaffordable hold times during phone calls. For those of us who have pay-as-you-go phones, these hold times are not merely inconvenient, they exclude us from accessing services.