QUEEN’S PARK – During question period on Monday, NDP MPP Michael Mantha called on Doug Ford to stop his cuts to autism services that is leaving northern children with autism without the care they need, and making things worse for families in small communities.
Mantha, the MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin, shared the story of one northern family with the legislature.
“Marshall, a little 4-year-old boy from Manitouwadge was diagnosed a year ago with severe Autism Spectrum Disorder,” Mantha said.
“His mom, Adrianna, is a single mom who is trained to work in the health care sector. Unfortunately, she had to quit her job to take care of Marshall full-time.
“Adrianna can’t work or find a rental unit that is affordable enough to allow her to pay for her son’s therapy.
“Why is this premier leaving people like Marshall and Adrianna with no options left?”
Mantha told Doug Ford and the legislature that Marshall and Adrianna patiently waited for the Ontario Autism Program funding but received nothing. When Adrianna asked why, she was told that “there is none available for your region.”
“Too often, communities like Manitouwadge are forgotten by the provincial government, and end up lacking in services. The two biggest cities around are Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay, both 400 kilometers away. There isn’t even one local private behavioural service provider,” said Mantha.
“This government’s announcement will do nothing to change that. In fact, it will make things worse.
“Why is this government refusing to increase capacity in Northern Ontario for autism services while cutting the funding available to families like Adrianna’s?”