Press release: MPP’s Jones and Elliott Demand Liberals Stand Up for Ontario’s Most Vulnerable Families

For Immediate Release

June 1, 2010

(Queen’s Park) – Sylvia Jones, MPP for Dufferin-Caledon and Progressive Conservative Critic for Community and Social Services and Children and Youth Services, alongside Christine Elliott, MPP for Whitby-Oshawa and PC Critic for Health and Long-Term Care today called on the McGuinty Liberals to stand up for families who desperately need support for their children and family members with developmental disabilities.

Families like Chris and Wilma Arthur of Bright’s Grove joined about 75 other families at Queen’s Park today to let the Liberal government know they will no longer sit silently and wait for supports while the waitlists for residential placements, Passports, Supported Independent Living and Special Services at Home continue to soar.

“These families came to Queen’s Park today to send the message that they will not be ignored,” said Jones. “The Arthur’s provide round the clock care for their 19 year old daughter Emilia. They need and deserve a break. But with 110 families on a waitlist for residential supports in Lambton County, they see little light at the end of the tunnel.”

Linda Russell of Caledon and Marnie Barlow of Lindsay were the focus of a press conference at Queen’s Park today, highlighting their struggles to receive supports for their children. Linda Russell is on a waitlist to receive residential supports for her 29 year old daughter Joanne, but the waitlist through the Brampton-Caledon Community Living is 600 families long. Marnie Barlow’s 38 year old son Richard has had his Supported Independent Living hours cut from three visits per week to a mere 19 minutes per week.

“This is yet another broken Liberal promise—this time to one of the most vulnerable groups in Ontario,” said Elliott. “19 minutes per week does not even begin to cover Richard’s most basic needs like cooking and cleaning. Because of this cut Richard now has no social life, and has no choice but to stay at home. 19 minutes of support per week does nothing to provide the tools Richard needs to live in dignity in the community.”

There are currently more than 12,000 people across Ontario on waitlists for residential supports, and 7,000 people waiting for other supports. 80% of those with developmental disabilities on waitlists are cared for by parents over the age of 70.

For more information, contact:
Ashley Hammill

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