Brown Upset Peel Region Liberals Vote Against Children With AutismPublished on May 17, 2016
QUEEN’S PARK – Today Liberal MPPs Charles Sousa (Mississauga South), Bob Delaney (Mississauga-Streetsville), Dipika Damerla (Mississauga East-Cooksville), Amrit Mangat (Mississauga-Brampton South), Harinder Malhi (Brampton-Springdale), and Vic Dhillon (Brampton West) voted against a Progressive Conservative motion to reinstate life-changing autism therapy for children over the age of five. As of May 1st, the Liberal Government has terminated Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) therapy for those aged five and above.
“I know that hundreds of emails and phone calls have been pouring into MPP offices across the province. I expected these Liberal MPPs to stand up on behalf of all of their constituents who have been affected by these heartless cuts,” said Leader of the Official Opposition Patrick Brown. “Many families were counting on IBI as a last hope for their child’s future, only to be told they won’t be getting the treatment they have been waiting years for.”
The Liberals’ decision to cut autism therapy has been met with disbelief by affected families. By the Ministry of Children and Youth Services’ own numbers, approximately 85 per cent of children who receive IBI therapy are over the age cut-off.
Children over the age of five still have special needs the province must address, and the waitlist for a less-intensive form of therapy, ABA (applied behavioural analysis), is approximately 14,000 children.
“Autism doesn’t end at five, but the Liberal Government continues to cut autism therapy even though it has benefitted so many individuals above the age cut-off,” added Brown. “These cuts are the direct result of years of Liberal scandal, waste and mismanagement. Now the Wynne Liberals are attempting to balance the budget on the backs of some of our province’s most vulnerable.”
“This Liberal Government needs to re-evaluate its priorities, and provide transformational IBI therapy to children over five.”