QUEEN’S PARK — Official Opposition critic for Children and Youth, Monique Taylor, issued the following statement in response to the Ontario’s Ombudsman confirmation of job losses for some Child and Youth Advocate staff, and of the closure of the Thunder Bay advocacy office, when Doug Ford finishes his elimination of the Child and Youth Advocate this spring:
“The Ford government axing the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth this past fall is stripping Ontario children and youth in care, including foster care, of their voice, and of the protection they desperately need. If they are experiencing abuse or neglect, the children now have no advocate to support them.
Adding insult to injury is the elimination of some Child and Youth Advocate staff, particularly advocacy-focused workers. These hardworking and caring employees will be laid off, and youth in care will be further disadvantaged, with the front-line staff they’ve come to rely upon ripped away.
That the advocate’s office in Thunder Bay will be eliminated altogether means children and youth in care in northern and Indigenous communities will have nowhere to turn. It’s truly chilling that Ford would make cuts at the expense of Ontario’s most vulnerable youth.
Children and youth in care deserve a government that keeps them safe from abuse, and ensures that they have front-line staff available when crisis hits. Children and youth and their advocates deserve more from their government, not less.”