Who Cares For Our Most Vulnerable?

It’s a new year. Federal Provinces and Municipal Government are proposing budgets for the coming year.

It is a common lament that we must rein in essential services because of lack of resources such as health care, policing etc… until it affects us, we the ordinary citizens accept what politicians offer an attribute it as a sign of our times moving forward and learn to cope.

When our most vulnerable, the physically disabled, mentally ill, veterans and seniors on fixed incomes bear the brunt of these cuts the realities are devastating. In the last 10 days I was witness to the results of several years of cutbacks in one of these essential services. A client of ours had her power chair stolen from the front of an establishment on Dundas street not a minutes from police headquarters. With the help of a friend she went to the station to report the incident. She was served by an officer that appeared indifferent to the situation informing her that this must be done on-line. The client, already distraught, indicated she may not be capable of doing this. The officer’s response was; “we’ll get a friend to help you.” At that moment Kelly not only lost her legs but also her dignity. Now we have a women with many challenges both mental and physical confined to her apartment relying on friends who in most instances only have a few or fewer resources than she has. Their only constant support at the moment is London Medical Transportation who provide only absolute essential transport to medical and therapy appointments until these resources too run out.

When I spoke to the police, on her behalf, I was informed recovery of the shuttle property is pretty remote and because of the lack of personnel, on-line reporting is the norm. Unless recovery is made the person will never be contacted. My response from one officer was and I quote; “What do you want me to do about it?” In all fairness I did speak to an officer who showed some compassion and informed me that an exception would be made this one time. He would personally call her and explain the limitations. In the mean time we have an individual who has been handed “insult to injury” with few or no resources to solve an already fragile recovery. The next time politicians campaign with promises of 0% tax increase in order to garner votes – think about who will suffer the consequences of these promises.

*If anyone has spotted a pink power chair it belongs to:

Kelly Hay, 380 Adelaide St., 519-619-0380, It is her means to get to the soup kitchen.

– A concerned citizen, Elaine Russell

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