Clark Condemns Inaction on Developmental Disabilities

MPP Steve Clark, Leeds-Grenville

MPP Steve Clark, Leeds-Grenville

by Michael Jiggins, Executive Assistant to Steve Clark, MPP, Leeds-Grenville

Wynne Government Ignores Pleas to Establish Select Committee

(BROCKVILLE) – Four months after all three parties agreed on a plan to get Ontarians with developmental disabilities the help they need, Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark said it’s shameful the Wynne government has failed to act.

“I’ve met with local agencies and families, so I know how desperate the need is to develop a strategy to assist developmentally disabled Ontarians with issues ranging from inclusion in society and the workplace to housing and supports for aging parents,” said Clark.

“Across Leeds-Grenville, the developmentally disabled, their families and advocates cheered when we agreed to strike an all-party Select Committee. They saw it as a sign their pleas were finally being heard and were heartened it would make a real difference in their lives. But this government has dragged its feet on establishing the committee, which I think is disgraceful.”

A motion by Ontario PC Health Critic Christine Elliott to establish the Select Committee was supported by MPPs from all parties at Queen’s Park in May.

“Despite that all-party backing and the growing crisis in the developmental services sector, the Premier, Minister of Community and Social Services and Government House Leader have simply refused to act,” said Clark.

The MPP pointed to statistics indicating more than 23,000 individuals in Ontario are waiting for support and services.

Beyond those unacceptable waitlist problems, Clark pointed to the number of aging parents here in Leeds-Grenville now reaching the point where they can no longer care for their disabled adult children.

“I’ve met with these parents and heard how terrified they are about what the future holds for their children. It’s heartbreaking,” said Clark. “The plight of these parents I represent is why I’m such a strong advocate of the Select Committee.”

Clark said establishing the all-party committee and holding hearings across the province will allow these parents to tell their stories and, most importantly, get a commitment from the government that their children will get the help they need.

“We all know that a society is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. On that measure, Ontario is failing right now,” stressed Clark. “We have a chance to do better and I’m calling on Premier Wynne not to waste this opportunity.”

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