July 5th, 2024

NDP: “Kids with autism have nowhere to go under Ford’s govt”

TORONTO – MPP Monique Taylor (Hamilton Mountain), NDP critic for Children, Community, and Social Services and MPP Chandra Pasma (Ottawa-West Nepean), NDP’s Education Critic, released the following statement after a school in Barrie had to turn away children with autism due to lack of support and resources:

“This is horrifying and heartbreaking for these children and their families. Many of these children have received zero services to date, many on the waitlist for autism funding and now they cannot enter school because there are no supports or resources in the classroom. Absolutely unacceptable,” said MPP Taylor.

The Financial Accountability Office’s (FAO) latest report, the government could be short $3.7 billion needed to fund services like the Ontario Autism Program and other social services. Under this government, the number of children trying to access core autism services has grown past 70,000.

“We’re seeing a complete lack of leadership,” said MPP Pasma. “And it’s the children and parents losing out – losing out on good education and proper development. Ford’s turning a blind-eye to children with autism, cutting funding and withholding resources for special education. It’s infuriating to see kids and their parents struggling because of a government that refuses to step up and provide even the very basic.”

The 2024 budget only mentioned the word autism once.