Dr. Mr. McIver:
I’m writing you today to encourage you to think about using different words when you talk about people with disabilities. It’s a common thing countless people do, and please understand: I am not criticizing.
I am making a suggestion.
I had a busy last few weeks, following the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
So I missed reading your comments in “Your Quary Park Riverbend” when you made reference to the NDP’s latest provincial budget — specifically, Albertans with disabilities. Sources are claiming you called health care for people with disabilities as “giveaways.”
I have heard frequently in hockey playoffs, when a team carelessly turned the puck over to to other team.
We also know them as fun activities for a business to garner more business: free T-shirts, hot dogs and even dream vacations come to mind.
But giveaways and health care? For Albertans with disabilities?
Let’s look at this.
Now, before I go on, I’d like to share with you I have cerebral palsy, use a wheelchair and am brushing my sixth decade as an Albertan. I’ve been able to be a husband, father, and grandfather. With supports, both for personal assistants and equipment, I have been able to support my family, and I hope to do so for many years to come.
With all due respect, sir, I don’t see them as giveaways. Rather, I see them, as well as health-related issues, I l view them as investments: because the province has invested in me, I continue to be a taxpayer.
Not a tax recipient.
Too often we view financial resources allocated to any minority group — and, there are far too many to mention — as burdens, and costs and … well, in your case, Mr. McIver, giveaways.
Now, I also appreciate and respect you are a member of the official opposition. Your very role, I think, is to raise issues and challenge them.
I understand that.
But I also encourage you to embrace every opportunity you have to promote, not only Albertans with disabilities, but every Albertan so we be the best we can … and, reach our full potential.
Using the word giveaways, in my way of thinking, shouldn’t be used.
And, if you would like to discuss this further, I’d be more than happy to meet you in person.
I get assistance from my personal assistants to get dressed. I will ensure I am dressed appropriately and, in my Mother’s words, wouldn’t want to leave anything to the imagination.
You see, I don’t believe in giveways.
All the best