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October 27, 2017 6:12 pm

Pacific Autism Family Network to Open Prince George Office

Saturday, April 1, 2017 @ 11:36 AM

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Prince George, B.C. – Dignitaries cut the ribbon on a new office which will provide autism programming and support services to people of all ages in Prince George this morning.

The Pacific Autism Family Network’s new state-of-the-art 3,000 square foot office is located on Victoria Street in the Gateway.

The office – coined a spoke of PAFN’s first location in Richmond – is part of the organization’s mandate of ensuring every family has necessary access to autism resources.

“Our goal has always been to reach as many families as possible across the province that are affected by autism and related disorders,” says Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia, co-founder, PAFN. “Opening this first spoke location in Prince George is just the beginning of our continued strategy to bring services and resources province-wide and eventually, country-wide.”

Jordan Oliver, Prince George PAFN family advocate

She adds the office will not only assist those with autism through the patient’s lifespan but those with any challenge.

“So, we’ll be dealing with decreasing the diagnosis times to nil. We’ll be helping school age children and adults with life skills training as well.”

Jordan Oliver, whose nine-year-old son Joel has autism, calls the office “a one-stop shop” to help those in need. She notes it’s a big change from the time Joel was diagnosed at the age of two.

“We had nothing. We had to leave the city to find a diagnoses in a timely manner because he had no speech, no social skills. So we left to find a diagnoses and came back here to create a home-based program.”

Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond called the cause “a labour of love” of hers.

“I couldn’t be happier that we’re going to be the first spoke in a hub and spoke model. It’s the first time in North America that we’re going to have this kind of service in a secondary community.”

So where did the funding come from?

“It’s our charity and in 2007 we received a one-time special grant from the provincial government with a commitment from our charity to raise $7 million and our charity has raised $12 million to date,” says Lisogar-Cocchia, who notes their success should allow them to open eight offices across the province.

The Prince George location is scheduled to open this summer.


A worthy cause, but could have done without the Shirley and Mike photo op.

    And I totally agree with ya on this one. I am tired of seeing these two attempting to grab the spot light always. They should stay home and do us all a favour.

Heyyy it’s your tax dollars paying for these photo ops

The society is a good thing, I question the reason for space and what the hell are Bond and Morris doing there, another temp funding announcement another Government cheque I mean really this is getting just plain sickening, but they have the tax payer money so they roll on, must have spent the surplus budget about 4 times over by now.

    They robbed BC Hydro and ICBC to get that surplus, and now we are going to pay for it through increased hydro rates and insurance fees.

      Whatever. We’ve needed the support locally and it’s finally here, this is great news for us.

And gave corps and banks over 2.3 billion in tax credits, plus another 1.7 billion in direct grants, plus 178 million for skills training from the feds so who are they really looking after then these guys are in control.

Aren’t all of you guys the same guys that seem just fine when it’s Justin Trudeau and his Federal Liberals spending your tax dollars and putting out photo ops, even if the photo ops are Justin’s own selfies?

    ohhh yessss and he had nice hair, at least

Maybe we can put aside the politics for a few minutes and be happy that PG is getting some of these badly needed services. This office and resource has been in the works for years. It’s not just a sudden funding announcement.

PG and area kids face wait times of up to two years just for a diagnosis. OR, for those not willing to wait, you can pay $2,000 for a private assessment. If you have kids on the more broadly functioning end of the spectrum, you can be sure that they aren’t getting the services they need, because our very few resources are taken by those who need it the most. And even then, the families who really need the help face long wait lists for services, and resources that other centres take for granted (which are still incomplete).

My patience for the pre-election handouts is past its limit. But this isn’t one of those. Congratulations to those who have worked very, very hard to see this resource put in place for the people of the north. We really need it here, and it’s long overdue.

    Well said! This is an awesome service. Thankyou, Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia for spearheading this program for the interior.

    Except it is funny how it only becomes important to the government and Bond and Morris when an election is due. When they don’t have to get votes then it is all…”who gives a s**t if some colonial’s kid has to wait two years for a diagnosis”.

    Their appearances at these “announcements” is all about politics; the politics of getting themselves re-elected to another four years at the trough. For example, it is funny how they have no problem having a defined benefit pension plan for themselves, but will do nothing legislatively to protect and/or expand the requirement for businesses to provide the same benefit for their workers.

      BANG goes your hammer on the nail. Maybe we should move towards yearly elections, then we might see our MLA’s caring about these issues more than once every 4 years?

      How can you turn this Great news story in to one of politics?
      This is about sick kids getting the service they need and deserve to get in the shortest time possible, yet you and BH don’t really care about kids, do you. How Ignorant!


      Wow. Wake up and smell the coffee, man. The minute these two show up to cut ribbons and get their picture taken it is nothing but politics, and that would be true for ANY politician that shows up to mug for the camera during an election cycle.

      You say I don’t care about kids. I’ll admit I’m not kid orientated, but neither are they, and I’m not cynically running on the back of some other peoples hard work and sick kids to preserve my privileged position as an MLA. The only thing they care about is getting re-elected.

      The last thing they care about is autistic kids. If they cared one whit about these kids and their parents then there would have been resources long made available to ensure that someone here wouldn’t have to wait two years for a diagnosis.

      However, what does it take to get those services here? It takes a charity to get the ball rolling and doing the legwork. Then those two mugs show up for a photo op? It is nothing but a variation of “kissing babies” with ill children as the “babies”. And you think I’m making this political? Give me a break.

      Just the ranting of a lonely looser that has never known the love of a women, much less the love for ones child. Ignorant comments like his should be ignored for what they are. Same thing all the time from this guy… why should I pay for other peole kids, schools, or sports, and why should families receive any benefits that he isn’t entitled too as a lonely live at home alone type. Has no concept of community or what it takes to be a parent or support others in a civil society… just political BS and Ukranian extremism that show his true side.

Happy to see this coming to PG. Do we really need a ribbon cutting ceremony for an office that won’t open until the summer? Will there be a 2nd ceremony then? I will probably vote Liberal as I like collecting a pay cheque, but enough already with the vote buying and photo ops.

Yes this is a good thing for PG but am so tired of seeing these photos with Shirley and Mike in it. Since when has Shirley been so concerned about children and families . She did not have any problem when they were closing schools and spending mega dollars in court against teachers. The BC liberals can make all the announcements they want but there is no guarantee that they will ever follow through with these announcements because they have lied many times before.

What a joke for a smiling pic , good bye

Looks like this will really provide some much need support for those with autism and their families. Thanks to our local MLAs for helping to make this happen.

If you negative nelly keyboard warriors had 10% of the integrity and worked 10% as hard as Shirley Bond does you guys would most likely be multi millionaires….instead you hide in mommies basement eating Cheetos, drinking purple pop…and bitching about every good news story. Get over yourselves, your endless shilling for Hoagy and his merry band of Communists is getting old quick

    You are one to talk about “negative nellies” with your stupid comment about basement dwellers eating Cheetos and drinking pop. Maybe you shouldn’t throw rocks when you fit in with the ones you are complaining about.

    I won’t even go into your asinine comment about Communists.

    NyteHawwk, thanks for telling it like it is!

    I heard this news story on one of our local radio stations this afternoon. The lady who was commenting, I believe it was Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia, was very clear in her thanks to Shirley Bond for her efforts and hard work in advocating for this program and it’s supports!

    The same old same old show up here with their anti-Shirley rants yet I’m abundantly certain that not a single one of those losers has done more or contributed more to this community and it’s citizens than Shirley Bond has!

    What a pathetic bunch of losers!

Yes Hart Guy we are a bunch of losers when we have Shirley handing out our tax dollars freely to places like PWB to promote their products. The only thing she is doing now is running all around trying to promote herself.

    Shirley, Mike and Pat Bell have done a ton of good for the Prince George region with their hard work and dedication to the job that will leave a very positive lasting legaacy when they decide to take a well earned rest to spend more time with their families.

    Perhaps as an oldman you could remind me of something-ANYTHING that former ndp MLAs have done for us. Gaining province wide attention for coming within a whisker of being the first person ever in the province to be recalled does not count Paul Ramsey:D Lois Boone- Zip-notta-zilch????

    You might want to do a little research to see how Alberta has made it a lot harder for small out of province breweries like PWB to compete with Alberta based breweries. If the grant helps them find new markets to replace the lost market share in Alberta then local jobs will be protected going forward. That’s a good thing!

      Comparing the BC NDP to the Alberta NDP makes no sense, it would be like us comparing the Saskatchewan Conservatives to the BC Liberals (who are Conservatives). We just don’t do that, but you rightards constantly have to reach out to the absurd lengths to get anything on the BC NDP.

      Once again you show that you are what some people call “Thick” and have limited comprehension when reading.

      No where in my comment did I make mention of the party in power in Alberta but mentioned a measure in that province that would protect small breweries located there while hurting ones like PWB who seek to grow their market there and hope to do so on a level playing field.

      By the same token I expect the decision to allow only VGA wines in BC grocery stores will be reversed.

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