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Government must fix crisis in developmental services, Pettapiece says

October 20, 2017

(Queen’s Park) – Members of the Ontario Association Supporting Individuals with Special Needs (OASIS) visited Queen’s Park yesterday to deliver a powerful message: investments in developmental services are urgently needed. Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece, who serves as PC Critic for Community and Social Services, questioned the minister in the legislature.

“OASIS tells me there are 20,000 families stuck on waiting lists. That’s outrageous. It’s totally unacceptable,” said Pettapiece. “Community agencies want to help, but this government has been nickel-and-diming them for years.”

He added: “Why have [people with developmental disabilities] been so low, for so long, on this government’s priority list?”

In response, the minister claimed the government is dedicated to their care. She touted an $810-million investment and blamed the opposition for voting against the Liberals’ budget.

But as Pettapiece noted, there are 710 requests for community agency services in Perth-Wellington alone. He also highlighted several examples of local families in crisis.

Later in the afternoon, Pettapiece met with members from OASIS and discussed the many budget pressures that community agencies are facing, including a nine-year freeze in core operating funds and pay equity obligations. The government has refused to support these costs, despite increasing demand and growing waitlists.

“The [developmental services] system is badly broken, and I think the minister understands that,” said Pettapiece in his question.

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Hansard transcript of Question Period exchange: Link