For thousands of Ontario families, hard times are nothing new.
Individuals with a developmental disability, their families and the people who support them in daily community living have tried to do so much with too little for decades.
In the 2007 provincial budget, the Ontario government made a four-year commitment to fund developmental services in a way that would help the thousands of people on waiting lists for support. The new funding would also help the individuals and families who were experiencing the stress and setbacks that came with high turnover among the developmental service workers providing support.
Now, the hard times are hitting more Ontarians and the government is sending signals that it may not meet all of its previous funding commitments.
But it's the wrong time to cut back again on some of the most vulnerable members of our communities.
You can help by sending a message to Premier Dalton McGuinty and Finance Minister Dwight Duncan.
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We know that, in the last six months, hard times have hit Ontarians. But individuals with a developmental disability and their families have been experiencing hard times, long waits for supports and high staff turnover for years, indeed decades. Now is not the time to hit them with another setback.
Your commitment to provide increased funding to agencies, including funding for improved wages, to 2011 delivers:
* Consistent, quality supports that help individuals expand the boundaries of their abilities
* Consistent, quality supports that help families care for their children or siblings with a development disability and continue to be active members of our communities
* Consistent, quality supports that help individuals live actively and visibility — and, in many cases, work — in our communities
* Hope for individuals and families who sometimes linger for years on waiting lists for those essential supports
Please keep your promise to persons with a developmental disability. Please deliver a strong assurance to everyone in the developmental services sector — families, employers and workers — that you will meet your funding commitment. And then, please start looking at how you will continue to provide adequate support to the sector after 2011.
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