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Posts Tagged "middle"

30Aug

‘I am almost not a person’: ICBC denies photo ID to Richmond woman over middle initial | CBC News

by admin

Nyoka Campbell has been a Canadian citizen for more than a decade, but her ongoing struggle to secure a B.C. photo ID has left her feeling like an outsider.

The 29-year-old has spent much of her life on the move, immigrating to Canada from Jamaica when she was just a child. Now living in the Lower Mainland, she has two primary pieces of ID to her name: a Canadian passport and a B.C. services card without a photo.

The two cards would usually be enough for someone to qualify for a B.C. photo identification card. But a small discrepancy between her documents — her passport includes her middle initial, while her care card does not — has kept ICBC from issuing her a card.

ICBC is the provincial Crown corporation that insures cars and is also responsible for issuing B.C. ID cards.

“I feel like I am almost not a person because of the way they’ve treated me.” Campbell told CBC News from her Richmond home.

“I am Canadian, I am a citizen of the Province of British Columbia, and I feel that I am entitled to be able to identify myself,” she added.

ICBC confirmed with CBC News that the documents she’s provided are insufficient for a photo identification card.

“In this case, while we sympathize with Ms. Campbell, we’ve reviewed the provided documents and unfortunately, they do not meet the requirements,” spokesperson Lindsay Wilkins said in an e-mailed statement.

Campbell says she now needs to obtain a citizenship certificate in order to clear up her ID troubles, but she can’t afford it.

Nyoka Campbell says a small discrepancy between two government-issued IDs has kept ICBC from issuing her a photo ID card. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

A prolonged dispute

Campbell moved to Vancouver in 2015. She says she was issued a provincial care card which by default did not include her middle initial.

“I didn’t choose the way my name was presented on the [services card], it was just generated by Health Insurance B.C.” said Campbell.

She doesn’t have her Jamaican birth certificate, and her Canadian citizenship card was stolen along with her wallet several years ago.

When she sought out a photo ID from ICBC in 2016 using what documents she had left, she was denied by staff. She claims her account has been red flagged by staff as potentially fraudulent due to the discrepancy between her passport and services card.

She’s kept pursuing the ID ever since, providing the insurance provider with mail, her SIN card, her son’s birth certificate and bank statements, but says it hasn’t swayed ICBC’s position.

“We do look at customer’s situations on a case-by-case basis, but it is more difficult in cases where there isn’t a verified photo record in our database,” said ICBC’s spokesperson.

ICBC says it looks at customers’ situations on a case-by-case basis, but it is more difficult in cases when there isn’t a verified photo record in its database. (David Horemans/CBC)

Hard times

The Canadian government no longer issues citizenship cards, but Campbell has been advised to apply for a citizenship certificate — a commemorative slip of paper that doesn’t qualify as identification but would confirm her citizenship. She could use it at the ICBC office. It can take up to five months before a certificate arrives.

However, the document requires a primary piece of photo ID. The only photo ID Campbell has — her passport — is now expired. She says doesn’t have sufficient documents to renew it.

And even if she could, Campbell, a single mother living off disability payments, says she would have trouble finding the money — about $200 in total — to retrieve both documents.

“I get about $1,500 per month … [my rent is] $1,248 plus my utilities, plus my insurance — and I also have my eight year old,” said Campbell.

She wonders just how long it will be before she has an official photo ID to her name — a circumstance she says is particularly troubling because it prevents her from boarding an airplane. Her grandmother, who lives in Ontario, is struggling with kidney failure.

“At any moment I could need to go to Ontario, but I’m not able to,” she said.

1Feb

Province says no to replacing 70-year-old Kelowna middle school

by admin

The provincial government has denied a request by an Okanagan school district to replace a 70-year-old middle school in Kelowna, a decision that’s left some in the community frustrated.

Marie Howell, the president of Rutland Middle School’s parent advisory council, says the school has a number of issues.

Howell, who has two children in the school, says about 550 students attend the school but there is only one set of bathrooms each for girls and boys, with two more toilets in the gym. 

The school has 11 portables  — temporary structures used to create extra classroom capacity — with more expected on site.

Accessibility is a major problem, Howell said. The library, the art and band classrooms, and the auditorium, all require the use of stairs which render the spaces inaccessible for anyone in a wheelchair or with other physical limitations. 

Then there’s the smell.

“Our school, because of its age, has quite the unique smell to the point,” Howell said. “Even trustees have noticed that smell when they walk in.”

Seismic upgrades, growth prioritized

In his rejection letter to School District No. 23 (Central Okanagan), Education Minister Rob Fleming said the government has prioritized new schools and additions in districts experiencing high growth, and accelerating seismic upgrade projects to make schools seismically safe as soon as possible. 

Rutland Middle School doesn’t meet those priorities, the minister said.

Fleming also pointed out four new schools were built in the Central Okanagan School Board area since 2007 to address growth in the area. 

The use of portable classrooms have been a major issue in the fast-growing school district of Surrey, B.C. (CBC)

10-year struggle

Moyra Baxter, the board’s chair, said she understands Howell’s frustrations. 

“I can’t disagree with anything that she raises as an issue at Rutland Middle School,” Baxter told CBC Daybreak South  host Chris Walker. 

Baxter says the board has been looking at replacing the property for 10 years, but discussions have gone back and forth between the board and the province with different ideas how the school could be replaced. 

Rebuttal letter in works

For Baxter, however, the growth in the Rutland area is comparable to that of Surrey’s in the Lower Mainland where nearly 300 portables were in use in 2017.

It’s something she said the board will focus on in its rebuttal letter to Fleming. 

“Surrey has over 70,000 students, so we absolutely realize how huge it is,” she said.

“But we believe when you take the population and you count the number of portables, that we actually percentage-wise have more portables than they do.”

She said the board will also consider giving priority to any projects at Rutland when it applies for its 2019- 20 facilities grants.

Howell says she wants the government to consider the changes from the perspective of the students. 

“When my kids come home and say they don’t want to use the toilets, that they think their school is gross, they hear students from other schools coming making comments about how disgusting our school is, I don’t think that helps any social or emotional learning for our students.”


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