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Thomas demands that Ford fire ‘Minister of Mean’ Lisa MacLeod over growing autism scandal

Toronto – As more shocking details surface about Children, Community, and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod’s shabby treatment of children with autism and their families, OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is demanding that she be fired.

“At first it looked like MacLeod was simply incompetent, but now it’s clear that there’s something much darker going on,” said Thomas. “She intentionally withheld autism services from kids in need. She tried to blackmail providers that didn’t endorse her terrible plan. And she continues to slander parents who are just pleading for help.

“There’s only one way to fix this problem: Ford must fire the ‘Minister of Mean’ and find somebody who can take on this issue with decency, honesty, and compassion.”

It was revealed over the weekend that, back in September, MacLeod secretly ordered a stop to autism therapy, making the wait lists even longer. 

It was also revealed that MacLeod’s chief of staff said that if parents of kids with autism want decent treatment, “they might just have to remortgage their house.”

And two weeks ago, word leaked that MacLeod threatened an autism services agency with “a long four years” if it didn’t publicly endorse her plan to cut funding to thousands of families.

“I’m shocked by how low they’ll go in Ford Nation,” said OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. “They try to scare us into submission with their chicken-little claims that the province is on the verge of bankruptcy. But the only thing bankrupt is the Conservatives’ sense of morals.”

Thomas said while there are a growing number of Conservative backbenchers worried that the autism scandal will hurt their re-election chances, he’s not optimistic that Ford will do the right thing by hitting reset on the autism file.

“Ford and his backroom insiders are now showing their true colours, and not just on autism,” said Thomas. “They’re giving high-priced patronage plums to their friends. They’re selling off valuable public services to their donors. And they’re shaking down lobbyists to enrich their own party.

“I realize that Doug and his so-called brain trust in the Premier’s Office think they’re smarter than the rest of us, but maybe they could take time out from their weekly Mensa club meeting and give some thought to the harm they’re doing to Ontario.”

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931