On Monday, a Nanaimo mother spoke out against a current Liberal policy.
It wipes out the monthly orphan benefit paid to her four year old son, Brennan Smith.
Now the minister responsible is pledging to restore those benefits.
But it won’t reimburse the family for the years of claw backs.
In Nanaimo, Haylie Little prepares lunch with her four year old son, Brennan.
For the second day in a row, the NDP brought up their situation came up in Question Period.
“Well, yesterday we asked the B.C. Liberals to stop clawing back four-year-old Brennan Smith’s WorkSafe death benefits that are meant to help with his needs following the death of his father.”
His father, Tyler Smith, died in a logging accident on the Sunshine coast in 2011.
They never recovered his body but under Work Safe benefits, Brennan is supposed to receive monthly orphan benefits of 282 dollars.
His mom receives income assistance, but not a dime from the orphan benefits.
“Madame Speaker, we have reached out to this particular individual, and we are working together to try and find the solution to ensure that this is rectified.”
Little says she received a call, but not much information.
“She said that they were going to work on doing something about it.
And that was our conversation.
I said, OK.
It was less than a minute long.”
But Stilwell says the benefits won’t be retroactive, and can’t say when Brennan will begin receiving them.
“I’ve directed my staff already and they were in discussions this morning.”
That’s not good enough for the NDP’s Mungall.
“We don’t know how many families are in the same boat.
But they shouldn’t be.
Nobody should be in this situation.”
And so the minister should commit to ending this policy.
Little just wants what’s fair for her son.
“Takes out money from Brennan’s mouth.
Activities that he could be doing, extra activities.
Anything like that really.
It’s just totally not fair to him.”
The NDP says the minister could make the change as early as Wednesday.