After speaking with my family, friends, colleagues and members of the Milton PC Riding Association, I have decided to announce my intention to seek the nomination for the Ontario PC Party to represent the new riding of Milton.
My family and I have called Milton our home for close to 14 years and we have seen many changes in our community. I have the honour of representing Milton at both the local and regional levels of government since 2010 fighting for Milton’s best interests.
The Province of Ontario has deemed Milton to be one of the “Places to Grow” and we have seen many years of intensive growth with many more to come.
It seems that all roads are leading to Milton, but the roadblocks to creating a complete community begin at Queens Park.
Between rising hydro costs, multiple OPP investigations in the Premiers office, skyrocketing debt levels or here at home with a lack of schools, lack of support for transit or a solution to parking issues at our only GO station, inaction on Laurier University & the Milton Education Village or the complete lack of acknowledgment about the CN Intermodal issue, it feels like the province has left us behind.
Over the coming days and weeks, I will outline a number of the concerns I have heard from Miltonians and PC party members. What needs to get done first is win the nomination.
When the province of Ontario outlined its 2016 budget, it announced funding of $333 M per year for a new Autism program. That announcement was met with enthusiasm from thousands of parents who have children on the spectrum, political leaders like Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown and myself included.
Little did they know how these new changes would affect their lives.
These changes to the program including limitations and restrictions on the Intensive Behavioural Intervention or IBI for children 2 to 5 years old. Children 5 and older will receive $8,000 and an immediate boot off the waiting list. Permanently.
Listening to some of the parents outlining what they have had to do and what they will need to do in the future to help support their children is just heartbreaking. Here is one parent had to say yesterday.
“We sold one of our cars, some of our furniture, used all our savings, liquidated the equity in our home, and moved our family of five into a one-bedroom apartment,” Bourdon said, her voice breaking.
She questioned if Premier Kathleen Wynne and Children and Youth Services Minister Tracy MacCharles have “given up their possessions to uphold the dignity of their child.”
Just incredible. My hat goes off to all of these parents who took the time to go to Queens Park and make their voices heard. My suggestion would be to not give up.
Those who know me know that for years I have been an advocate for Autism awareness. Working with several organizations in our area, we have been working hard to raise awareness at all political levels and to make this an issue for the provincial government. We can’t stop now.
Here is Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown asking the government hard questions about the changes to the program.
Contact your local MPP and let them know these changes have to be stopped. Autism doesn’t end at the age of 5. By taking away this expensive therapy for these children, it is setting them back years. Parents I’ve talked with who have had their children in IBI therapy say that it works. If it works? Why change it.
I am very proud to see the community come together as they’ve done recently over this and I will do what I can to help out at whatever level is needed.
Parents can not let their children down. It’s not a matter of deciding whether to pay for food or pay for therapy for their children. When people have to sell their belongings to fund this therapy, don’t you think the system is broken?
Congratulations to these parents and keep up the pressure to have these changes reversed and have the province focus in on Autism therapy for the young children, teenagers and those who are now adults. Don’t let up!