Ontario minister defends funding for developmentally disabled
Minister says the province is working to improve services in difficult economic conditions.
Ontario's Minister of Community and Social Services responded to criticism his department wasn't doing enough to help families with adult children with developmental disabilities, saying it is working to improve services in difficult economic conditions.
Ted McMeekin said the proposed Ontario budget sets aside $42-million for people with disabilities, a three per cent increase over last year.
"We have some 6,000 families across Ontario who are on a list right now. We're providing care for about 18,000 adults with developmental challenges," McMeekin said.
Last week, an Ottawa family left their developmentally disabled adult son at a provincial developmental services office. Since then many families have spoken out about the shortage of services.
Thousands of people with developmental disabilities are on waiting lists for 24-hour, group-home-type care in Ontario.
Jocelyne Brault, co-chair of United Families of Eastern Ontario, a group that advocates for families with developmental disabilities, said the additional money will not make much of a difference because Ontario needs to make it a right for people to receive these services.
"We don't have the right to receive supports and services. That's what the core of the problem is. And obviously, the system is not working, no matter how much money you put in, the wait lists keep growing," said Brault.
She said that there is not enough accountability for where the money the government invests is going.
In mid-May Progressive Conservative MPP Christine Elliot said she would put forward a resolution calling for all three parties to form a committee and seek workable solutions.