CBC News | November 2, 2016, Written by Wallis Snowdon
An Alberta mother says the province is contradicting its own philosophy by forcing disabled people like her daughter to live well below the poverty line.
According to the 2016 Fraser Institute Report Card on Alberta’s Elementary Schools, an increasing number of special needs students are entering Calgary classrooms. In 2015, 13.2 per cent of Calgary students were identified as having special needs, a significant increase since 2011 when that percentage was 10.7.
“Dedicated.” That’s how a shocked neighbour describes a Calgary mother charged in her severely disabled daughter’s death, amid allegations that she failed to properly care for her.
Patricia Couture, 68, has been charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life to her 38-year-old daughter, Melissa, who died Tuesday. (“Necessaries” is the actual word used in the specific charge under Section 215 of the Criminal Code, although it’s commonly referred to colloquially as “failing to provide the necessities of life.”)
While many Albertans believe the provincial government isn’t doing enough when it comes to education, recreation and housing for children with special needs, a large percentage are also unaware of the challenges the community faces, according to a new Mainstreet poll.