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

Castlegar’s Waterline property purchased; owners to protect it for rock climbers

New owners plan to subdivide, sell bluffs to recreational climbing group

Feds, B.C. to expand Darkwoods Conservation area

New funding allows the national land trust to add some 7,900 hectares to the Darkwoods Conservation Area

Good fencing makes good neighbours— especially when your neighbours are bears

Workshop in Pass Creek this weekend to promote benefits of proper protection for livestock

Josie Hotel will be ready on opening day, says management

West Kootenay’s first ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel to open this month

Columbia Avenue paving scheduled for weekend

Paving on Castlegar’s main thoroughfare will take place in a few days, weather permitting.

Josie Hotel will be ready on opening day, says management

West Kootenay’s first ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel to open this month

California wildfire death toll hits 63

Sheriff says hundreds still missing in nation’s deadliest wildfire

Harsh storms have nearly tripled power outages in last five years, BC Hydro says

More frequent and severe storms have damaged Hydro’s electrical systems since 2013

Trudeau to meet key Pacific trade partners at APEC leaders’ summit

Canada became one of the first six countries to ratify the CPTPP

Judge orders White House to return press pass to CNN’s Acosta

U.S. District Court Judge will decide on White House press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta

WikiLeaks chief could see charges, US court filing suggests

Charges against Julian Assange could help illuminate the question of whether Russia co-ordinated with the Trump campaign

Federal MPs denounce controversial Facebook post targeting Sajjan

Okanagan Conservatives apologize for controversial Facebook post

Canada has enough pipelines to get the moon

Pipelines totalling 840,000 kilometres run across Canada

Migrants streaming into Tijuana, but now face long stay

U.S. border inspectors are processing about 100 asylum claims a day at the main border crossing with San Diego

Most Read