QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Monique Taylor (Hamilton Mountain), NDP critic for Children, Community, and Social Services, was joined at Queen’s Park by members of the Ontario Autism Coalition (OAC) to give Ford a chance to re-establish trust with the autism community and clear the autism core services waitlist.
Under Ford’s watch, the list of children with autism who are waiting for core service funding under the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) has skyrocketed to 60,000.
“This government’s record on autism is abysmal,” said Taylor. “Ford and Minister Fullerton need to re-establish open, honest, communication with families, and work on repairing the trust lost over the past four years.”
The Ford government set a painfully low target of registering 8000 children with autism in the OAP in 2022. Global News reporting revealed that they registered just 888. At this rate, it would take 66 years to clear the wait list, and that is with no new needs for services.
“Families are leaving Ontario just to give their children a chance at accessing services,” said Taylor. “It is heartbreaking to know people are forced into leaving their homes and communities, because they cannot rely on the services here.”
“Things have been going very wrong for many children and their families for a very long time,” said Kate Logue, Vice President of the OAC. “The constant lack of communication from this government has caused confusion for families and left parents unable to plan for their future. Most children registered for the Ontario Autism Program still do not have access to the core funding for the services and therapies they need.”
“Families deserve so much better,” said Taylor. “I will continue to work alongside the Ontario Autism Coalition and families across the province, to keep this government accountable and fight for you and your children. We know that a more compassionate, reasonable government is possible.”