Only the Ontario PC Party Will Provide More Support for Children With Autism`

Published on May 26, 2018

Plan for the People includes $100 million commitment for children and their families

KITCHENER — An Ontario PC Government will enhance the Ontario Autism Program by adding $100 million in new funding in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, Ontario PC candidate Amy Fee announced today.

“I’ve stood with hundreds of parents at Queen’s Park devastated by the lack of support for the autism community in Ontario. I know how important it is that we give these families the resources and respect they deserve,” said Ms. Fee. “This new funding will help thousands of children get the right kind of supports they need to succeed both inside and outside of school.”

Fee also announced that an Ontario PC Government will support the expansion of the use of autism service dogs in schools across the province, a cause that Ms. Fee and her family have personally advocated for at Queen’s Park.

“For their part, the NDP are not offering more funding, in fact, they are proposing to cut funding from services for children with autism. This will mean longer waitlists and fewer services for the families that need and deserve them,” said Ms. Fee. “The autism community in Ontario deserves much better than the fifteen years of excuses they’ve received. The PC Party is committed to taking real action to help these families.”

“It is time to help give our kids the support they need to realize their potential — so they can live fulfilling lives and pursue their own dreams,” concluded Ms. Fee. “In Ontario, we have the power to make that happen. And I am proud to run for the one party that is prepared to get the job done.”
 

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The Plan:
 
Help is on the way.
For the People of Ontario
 
A Doug Ford Ontario PC government will clean up the mess in government and restore respect for taxpayers. His government will put the people ahead of insiders and elites by focusing on five clear priorities.
 
We will:
 
PUT MORE MONEY IN YOUR POCKET
Scrap the carbon tax, reduce gas prices by 10 cents per litre, and give real tax relief to lower and middle class families.
 
CLEAN UP THE HYDRO MESS
Fire the $6 million man running Hydro One and lower your hydro bills by 12%.
 
CREATE GOOD JOBS
Send the message that Ontario is ‘Open for Business’ and bring quality jobs back to Ontario by lowering taxes, stabilizing hydro bills and cutting job-killing red tape.
 
RESTORE ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRUST
Order a line-by-line audit of government spending to bring an end to the culture of waste and mismanagement in government.
 
CUT HOSPITAL WAIT TIMES
End hallway health care by creating 15,000 new long-term care beds over the next 5 years and adding $1.9 billion in new support for mental health, addictions and housing.

Backgrounder – Support for Children with Autism

The Issue:

  • One in 66 children and youth is identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). [1]
  • There are two types of autism treatment in Ontario, intensive behavioural intervention (IBI) and applied behaviour analysis (ABA). Generally speaking IBI is a more intensive form of ABA that includes more hours of therapy weekly.
  • The Liberal government had overseen a system that saw waitlists for IBI therapy funding from government eclipse five years. Since the Ontario Liberals deemed IBI is not effective after five years, they attempted to kick these children off the IBI waitlist and transfer them to the ABA waitlist. [2]
  • Autism coalitions and families protested vehemently, and the two opposition parties led the charge to get the Liberals to backtrack on their promise. It got so bad that MPP Bob Delaney (Mississauga Streetsville) even called the cops on a mother of a child with autism who was protesting outside of his campaign office. [3]
  • Eventually, the Liberals backtracked after shuffling the minister responsible out of her portfolio and introduced an Ontario Autism Program.
  • The NDP have no additional promises for autism in their platform other than the commitment to create a “comprehensive strategy.” The NDP has removed a $62 million increase for children with autism included in Budget 2018 which will include cuts in services for families with children with autism.

How we will Fix It:

  • An Ontario PC Government will maintain the Ontario Autism Program, but we will enhance it by adding $100 million in the 2018-19 fiscal year. This is an increase of $38 million from the Liberal’s 2018 budget promise.
  • This money will be used to help increase the number of children accessing services and reduce delays for families to get access to these services.
  • In addition, we can announce we will review how to implement a province wide approval of autism service dogs in schools across the province – something which our candidate Amy Fee has fought for after her child’s service dog was rejected from a Kitchener-Waterloo area school. [4]
  • Lastly, our childcare rebate includes an increased amount to claim against if a child has severe mental or physical disabilities. While this does not apply to all children with autism, it would apply to children with severe autism. They can claim against $11,000 of expenses, instead of $9,000 of expenses – meaning the maximum they can receive for a rebate is $8,250.

[1] https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2018/05/expanding-autism-services-for-ontario-kids.html

[2] https://tvo.org/article/current-affairs/understanding-the-difference-between-aba-and-ibi-autism-treatments

[3] http://torontosun.com/2016/05/21/mpp-called-cops-on-mother-of-autistic-kid/wcm/bbf3f671-86fb-4fa7-8233-d7b28ca7987f

[4] http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/autism-service-dog-kenner-fee-human-rights-hearing-mpp-michael-harris-1.4272227