Nanaimo reconsiders Leap card criteria for disabled adults

NANAIMO – Parks commission agreed to grandfather in disabled adults previously approved for the Leap card program.

A Nanaimo woman who took issue with the city’s tougher stance on recreational assistance is “thrilled” the municipality will look at a new access program for people with permanent disabilities.

Nanaimo’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Commission decided to keep its criteria for the Leisure Economic Access Policy pass, which helps families in financial need access civic recreational facilities, but has asked staff members to report on the development of an access program for people with permanent disability status. It has also grandfathered in those disabled adults who were previously approved to tap into the Leap card.

The decision comes after the City of Nanaimo was asked to rethink its recreational assistance criteria. Advocates and parents said special needs adults used to be able to show bus passes or a Person with Disabilities slip to become Leap cardholders, which gave them discounts and 50 free admissions to civic facilities each year. But since September, the municipality has asked for the earnings of the entire household, making some low-income adults who live with their parents ineligible for the aid, while peers in group homes or respite care still qualify. According to the city, the  pass was meant to ensure families could access recreational activities and is based on financial need – now parks and rec is enforcing the family income rule. Critics, however, argued that special-needs adults should be judged on their own ability to pay.

Nanaimo resident Debbie Remillard, whose 29-year-old daughter would have no longer qualified for Leap after 11 years, said she is thrilled the commission is looking at having a disabled pass.

“Everyone was just thrilled that they are looking into it and trying to resolve it. All we can do is keep our fingers crossed,” she said.

City staff is expected to return to the commission in the new year with options for a new access card program.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo Airport’s $14-million expanded terminal officially opens

Departure lounge, security and baggage areas improved

Nanaimo athletes shine at B.C. Winter Games

Youths from Nanaimo win 19 of Vancouver Island team’s 44 medals

Officials say no drought worries with below-normal snowpack

Snow pillow nearest to Nanaimo at 69 per cent of normal levels, says B.C. government official

Affordable apartments planned for Nanaimo’s Brechin Hill neighbourhood

Proposed development would be near Terminal Park plaza and B.C. Ferries’ Departure Bay terminal

Storm score a Game 2 win against Buccaneers

VIJHL playoff series between Nanaimo and Campbell River tied 1-1

Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 27

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Toddler killed in Squamish grocery store parking lot

Child’s mother taken to hospital but her condition is not known

Francophone festivities in Nanaimo this weekend

French Canadian culture and cuisine highlight Maple Sugar Festival du Sucre d’Érable

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Most Read