Opposition Social Services Critic calls for support of Select Committee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 21, 2013
QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk’s MPP called out government to support new direction to deal with an emerging crisis facing families enduring long waiting lists and little support for their developmentally disabled children.
Barrett questioned the Minister of Community and Social Services Ted McMeekin in the Legislature this morning with regard to an upcoming resolution from Caucus colleague, Whitby MPP Christine Elliott. The motion would establish a Select Committee to develop a comprehensive developmental services strategy for Ontarians.
“We have a made-in-Ontario crisis from years of neglecting our developmentally disabled – we’ve all heard the disturbing stories of families, unable to cope,” Barrett began. “The Callaghans are coming to Queen’s Park today – 20 year old Anna is developmentally disabled and requires care, 24/7….both parents work.
“Anna is eligible for 25 hours of nursing care a week – the Callaghan’s ask only for 34 hours a month. But in March her agency could only provide 12.”
Barrett went on to note that the situation for the Callaghan’s and families across Ontario only grows bleaker when the child reaches adulthood.
“When Anna finishes her education next month; she will have no supports,” asserted Barrett, “This afternoon, our Health Critic is calling for a Select Committee on Developmental Disabilities – to ensure Anna, the Callaghans and families receive the support they require….Minister do we have your support for this motion?”
In a rare show of non-partisanship, Barrett’s question was able to wrench the Minister’s assurance that he would support Elliot’s private members resolution which would see the committee develop a strategy and recommendations, focusing on:
the urgent need for a comprehensive developmental services strategy to address the needs of children, youth and adults in Ontario with an intellectual disability or who are dually diagnosed with an intellectual disability and a mental illness, and to coordinate the delivery of developmental programs and services across many provincial ministries.
For more information contact Toby Barrett 519-428-0446 or 1-800-903-8629
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO HANSARD
Thursday 16 May 2013 SERVICES FOR THE DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED Mr. Toby Barrett: To the Minister of Community and Social Services: We have a made-in-Ontario crisis from years of neglecting our developmentally disabled. We’ve all heard the disturbing stories of families unable to cope. The Callaghans are coming to Queen’s Park today; 20-year-old Anna is developmentally disabled and requires care 24/7. Both parents work. Anna is eligible for 24 hours of nursing care a week. The Callaghans asked for only 34 hours a month, but in March, her agency could only provide 12. When Anna finishes her education next month, she will have no supports. This afternoon, our health critic is calling for a select committee on developmental disabilities to ensure that Anna, the Callaghans and other families receive the support they require. Minister, do we have your support for this resolution? Hon. Ted McMeekin: I am proud to say, in support of the colleague opposite, that I will be delighted to support the motion this afternoon. I think that anything we can do together to address some of the serious challenges that we have is something that we must do. I would just point out that one of the ways we’re trying to address some serious challenges that we must all address is through our budget. I specifically point to the additional influx of dollars to assist in the developmental disabilities sector; I’m sure that the members opposite support that. I’ll be delighted to support the motion, and urge all my colleagues on this side to do the same thing. We can use all the help, together, that we can get, and if we can do it on behalf of the people who are most vulnerable, good for us. The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary? The member from Whitby-Oshawa. Mrs. Christine Elliott: While we are grateful and this sector is grateful for the money that has been allocated in this year’s budget, we know that it will not be sufficient to help all of the 12,000 people who are on the wait-list for service. It will help somewhat, but there are some innovative solutions that are being proposed by service providers across the province. I believe that a select committee shall have the opportunity to explore those and be able to disseminate them across the province, so I am very grateful for your support. We look forward to the committee being established— Interjections. The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Order. Mrs. Christine Elliott: —so it can begin its work as soon as possible, because, as the minister knows, the need is urgent. Hon. Ted McMeekin: I’m pleased to hear that. Anything that we can do together to respond more appropriately to the most vulnerable folk that are there and need our help is good. You’re right: There are a lot of innovative ideas that we can’t— Interjections. Hon. Ted McMeekin: Do you want to hear the answer? The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): I do. Hon. Ted McMeekin: Maybe your colleague in front, who asked a serious question, will have a chat with you, but we’re with you. I think, together, we can get some important and good, innovative things done that will serve a lot more people. I think we’ll all, in the end, be able to feel good about having worked together to do that.