CBC News was there when dozens of OPSEU members working at the Ottawa Children’s Aid Society (CAS) led a protest against budget cuts in front of the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services building in Ottawa on June 24, 2019.
“We have fewer workers now to do the job to help protect our children and work with families to make better outcomes for them,” said Michele Thorn, a family support worker with Ottawa CAS and the President of OPSEU Local 454. “This is also going to put more children at risk of coming into care.”
CBC also spoke with Leandro Silva-Stone, a child-protection worker who sees families struggling because budget cuts have led to the loss of a number of health and social services.
“We are the ones in people’s homes every single day,” he said. “We hear directly from our clients and it’s heartbreaking.”
But Thorn and Silva-Stone are optimistic that by speaking out, they can force government to reverse course.
“It’s a very wishy-washy government,” Silva-Stone said. “Hopefully they will do as they’ve been doing, which is just take a step back and think, and maybe speak with those who actually know what they’re talking about.”