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Developmental Services funding will provide welcome relief to crisis

We the North
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OPSEU welcomes the announcement of 810 million dollars in new funding over the next three years for Ontario developmental services. The union is hopeful that Minister McMeekin will make it a priority to allocate long-needed funds to not-for-profit community agencies, relieving the instability and fractured continuity of care caused by high turnover and a part-time workforce. The findings of the recent all-party Select Committee on Developmental Services provided crucial insight into the crisis of access to timely and specialized care.

“Given the findings of the Select Committee, the crisis in Ontario’s Developmental Services can no longer be swept under the rug. I want to congratulate the Wynne government for following through with this substantial response to a serious crisis,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

The proposed budget’s promise to eliminate waitlists for adults over four years and children over 2 years, and the establishment of a Developmental Services Housing Taskforce are commendable initiatives which address the crisis head on.

“Four years is still a long time to wait for access to services, especially for families who have already spent years on a waitlist. However this promised funding will bring significant improvements to the lives of thousands of families,” said OPSEU Developmental Services Sector Chair, Patti Markland.

“I am hopeful that priority will be given to increasing the number of frontline staff at not-for-profit community agencies who provide the skilled quality services that people with intellectual disabilities depend on,” said Markland. “Everyone deserves to have access to quality and specialized care no matter where they live, or what their personal income may be.”

OPSEU represents more than 10,000 developmental services workers across Ontario.

For more information:

Warren (Smokey) Thomas
OPSEU President:
613-329-1931

Patti Markland 
OPSEU Developmental Services Sector Chair:
613-848-6016

Emily Visser
OPSEU Communications:
416-557-7936
evisser@opseu.org