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Government leaving families on the brink of crisis: Pettapiece

October 4, 2016

(Queen’s Park) – The government is failing families in need of services for their adult developmentally disabled children, says Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece, who serves as opposition critic to the Minister of Community and Social Services.

Pettapiece questioned the Minister Helena Jaczek today in response to the Ombudsman of Ontario’s recent Nowhere to Turn report.

“Some families have no funding at all. Many are left sitting on wait lists,” said Pettapiece during Question Period. “The Ombudsman’s report concluded that the government’s response to [these families’] plight was ‘unreasonable and wrong.’”

In August, the Ombudsman released his long-awaited investigative report on the government’s response to situations of crisis involving adults with developmental disabilities.

“The report was a devastating indictment of a government more interested in deflecting responsibility than in doing its job—protecting some of the most vulnerable people in our province,” said Pettapiece.

During Question Period, Pettapiece shared the stories of two local families waiting for government assistance. In one instance, a young man lost all of his government funding as soon as he turned 18.

“When Lucas turned 18, his funding stopped—even though he is the same person, with the same needs, he was a day before,” stated Pettapiece. “…Why does this government still say ‘Happy 18th Birthday’ by cutting off services to those with exceptional needs?”

The minister responded, acknowledging she believed the Ombudsman’s comments on the government’s services delivery were unacceptable. However, she failed to address what specific changes will be made to assist struggling families.

Yesterday, Pettapiece tabled an “Order Paper” question, calling on the Minister of Community and Social Services to provide an outline, including a timeline, of her plans to implement the 60 recommendations made by the Ombudsman. The minister has 24 legislative business days to provide a written response.

“People deserve to know that the system is going to change,” said Pettapiece. “They deserve to know the government is taking this seriously and will follow through on its promises.”

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Video of Question: http://pettapiece.ca/?p=4069