BC People First Newsletter April 6th,2020 update


April 6, 2020

In this newsletter:

  • President’s Message
  • April Photo Contest
  • Award Winners Announced
  • BCPF Recommends!

President’s Message

Hello BC People First Members, Volunteers, Community Partners, and Supporters!

As we go through this challenging time together, we want to thank everyone for all you are doing to keep yourselves and our community safe and healthy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We wanted to let you know the steps we have been taking at BCPF in light of the coronavirus pandemic. These include:

  • Our Coordinator and Board of Directors are working from home and conducting virtual meetings to minimize risk
  • We have cancelled all our events until the end of May and we will assess cancelling future events as things progress
  • BCPF is adhering to pandemic response recommendations set out by the Province of BC and the Government of Canada

We would love to hear from our BCPF Members and Self-Advocates about the questions you have for the government and service providers about the coronavirus pandemic. We will be attending online and phone meetings with service providers and government officials in the next few weeks and we’d love to share your questions. If you have a comment or question we can pass on for you please reply to this email and let us know what it is.

Thanks so much for your continued support and involvement with BC People First. It was difficult for us to make the decision to cancel our big conference at the end of March but we know it was the right thing to do – thanks to everyone who was registered to attend for your understanding and words of encouragement. We hope we will be able to put on our BCPF Conference again next year and know that together, we will get through this hard time of not knowing what will happen.

Thank you for staying inside and away from others and washing your hands as much as possible right now. We are wishing you all the best at this time and I hope to connect with you all again soon. Again, if you are a BCPF Member and have any questions we can pass on for you, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you! Stay connected with us by sending in your questions or joining our month of April photo contest!

Jo-Anne Gauthier, President of BC People First

April Photo Contest – Get Involved

We know isolating at home for long periods of time can be hard so we want to celebrate everyone who is being safe and staying at home right now during this pandemic. It is important to stay connected during these times of uncertainty and we want to hear what you are doing to have fun at home throughout the month of April. Join our photo contest!

What do you want to share with others to help them find new ways to pass the time at home or have fun at home? Gardening tips, writing ideas, fun crafts, making up a new dance, playing games? Do you have any special tips or advice? The possibilities are endless!We’re excited to hear from you and see what you’re up to! You can enter the contest as many times as you like throughout the month of April to win one of three prizes! Share a photo with an idea or advice on how to pass the time at home right now. Just post a photo on Instagram or Facebook and tag us @BCPeopleFirst to enter the contest.


Contest Rules:

  1. Ensure you are following @BCPeople First on Facebook or Instagram
  2. Post a photo with a fun way to pass the time and share details or advice for others to enjoy
  3. Tag @BCPeopleFirst in your post
  4. Contest is open April 1 – 30, 2020 to residents of British Columbia. Must have a BC address we can mail the winners’ prizes to.
  5. Each post on Instagram or Facebook from April 1-30th, 2020 – sharing a story with a way to pass the time while isolating at home and tagging @BCPeopleFirst – counts as one entry.
  6. All entries will go into a draw on May 1st, 2020 and 3 lucky winners will be selected to win a $10 gift card to Save On Foods and one of our ‘Labels Are For Jars Not People’ BCPF T-Shirts!
  7. Facebook is not associated with this contest, it is put on by us at BC People First
2019 Award Winners Announced

We look forward to presenting the awards in person to Kara and a member of Jerry’s family as soon as we are able to. All of our events are on hold right now due to the coronavirus pandemic but we still want to share news of the winners with you all.

President’s Award ~ Jerry Laidlaw
Self-Advocate Leadership of the Year Award ~ Kara Anderson

BCPF President, Jo-Anne Gauthier, selected Jerry Laidlaw for our 2019 President’s Award in honour of his memory and the legacy he has left inspiring self-advocates throughout his lifetime. Jerry was a person who never gave up.Our 2019 Self-Advocate Leadership of the Year Award is by nomination and has been awarded to Kara Anderson. Kara is a fearless leader and strong voice in advocating, presenting and sharing her story with organizations, government and the community at large about navigating life and society as a person with diversability.

To read more about our 2019 winners and the awards, please go to our website HERE by clicking this link.

BCPF Recommends!
BC’s provincial health officer has declared COVID-19 a public health emergency. You can click here to find information from Healthlink BC about COVID-19 and how to protect yourself, your family and your community.

The British Columbia Self Advocate Leadership Network is working on getting access to plain language information about coronavirus for people in our province. Until we can send more information your way you can click here for information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) in plain language from People First of Canada.

And here is a list from People First of Canada of several cell phone service providers and what they are doing for customers during COVID-19. You can find out about what some cell phone companies are doing to help their customers.

Four videos on the Coronavirus have been produced by people with disabilities to share with their community, Canada and the world. We hop you’ll watch the videos!

The Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo (SAS) with the financial support of UNITI created the videos to highlight the importance of our actions in this time. They what us to know that we do affects others and we have the choice to be there for everyone in getting through this safely.

Find the videos here:

  1. Coronavirus: Stay Home
  2. Coronavirus: Fair Treatment
  3. Coronavirus: We’re In This Together
  4. Coronavirus: Affects Us All
On April 2nd, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Shane Simpson announced that the BC government would add temporary additional supports and policy changes for British Columbians receiving provincial income assistance (IA) or the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) benefit. 

The changes include:

  • Temporary exemption of EI and the new federal Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) from clawback from IA and PWD
  • An automatic $300 crisis supplement which will be provided for the next three months to people on IA and PWD who are not receiving EI or the CERB
  • A three-month automatic payout of the $52 Transportation Supplement for people receiving PWD. This amount will be added to PWD assistance cheques beginning in April.

For more information on what is listed above, you can click HERE to read the BC government’s news release.

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