Canada: ‘Do the right thing’: Eugene Levy calls on Ford government to reverse autism funding changes - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada ‘Do the right thing’: Eugene Levy calls on Ford government to reverse autism funding changes

00:10  16 october  2019
00:10  16 october  2019 Source:   globalnews.ca

Trudeau criticizes Doug Ford’s handling of autism supports but won’t commit to national strategy

  Trudeau criticizes Doug Ford’s handling of autism supports but won’t commit to national strategy The NDP, Conservatives and Green's all have pledged to develop a federal strategy if elected, Trudeau however, has not. In a statement to Global News Joseph Pickerill, a spokesperson for the party said, "Our Liberal government provided $20 million to better support the needs of Canadians with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families, and invested in the Autism Spectrum Disorder Strategic Fund."We listened to parents, researchers, and other stakeholders who said Canada needed better data. And in 2018, we launched the first national data report on ASD to help inform support and programs.

The Ford government announced Monday that it was backing off its controversial autism plan. Liberal MPP Michael Coteau said that while it was good to see the government change course on its funding model for autism support, he is concerned about the damage that has already been done .

Under the changes , children with autism up to age 6 will receive a maximum of 0,000 until age 18, while older children will get ,000. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said MacLeod “talked a lot about herself in that apology” and said Premier Doug Ford “needs to remove her from cabinet and show the

Eugene Levy wearing a suit and tie: Eugene Levy speaking to Global News on Tuesday.© Global News Eugene Levy speaking to Global News on Tuesday.

Canadian actor Eugene Levy is calling on the Doug Ford government to "do the right thing" and reverse changes it has made to autism funding in the province.

Levy spoke to Global News on Tuesday alongside autism care advocate Brenda Deskin.

"These families, for them to be going day after day after day without the treatment these kids need is really just heartbreaking," Levy said.

"I think these people expect more from their government."

Deskin said funding to help care for her adult son Michael, who is also Levy's cousin, has been cut drastically since the Ford government took power.

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Campbell, who has a younger brother with autism , is spearheading a walkout — calling on the Ford government to reverse its planned OSAP, autism funding and secondary school curriculum changes — at her school Thursday. Ryerson University criminology professor Dan Horner, agreed that this

In the over 10-minute phone call , Ford explained the government ’s position on changes to the Lisa MacLeod claims province will double funding to Ontario Autism Program. After a request for “He’s just denying things that have been made clear. I don’t even comprehend how he can deny things

READ MORE: Ontario government not doing enough to support adults with autism, family says

Deskin claims the government is not providing court-ordered funding for her son and six other families who have adult children with autism.

She is now in a midst of a lawsuit against the provincial government.

"We had things under control somewhat ... because we were getting court-ordered funding to provide necessary care and therapy for Michael," she said.

"It was court-ordered over a lawsuit that we launched and won against the provincial government over 15 years ago that actually helped many people in the province by removing a discriminatory age cutoff at six years of age ... Fast forward 15 years later and they've abandoned us."

In February, the government announced changes to the autism program that would see funding provided directly to families instead of regional service providers.

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The Ford government has launched a plan to tackle lengthy waiting lists for autism therapy. The PC government will also provide direct funding to families with autistic children. "If they choose to attack, we're very comfortable, because we know we're doing the right thing ."

Students call Tories’ funding changes ‘frustrating,’ ‘terrifying’ and ‘devastating’. Ford government ’s tuition cut to cost universities 0 million and “This is not the right direction for our province and this government needs to reverse tracks and look towards being more progressive on post-secondary

The change limited the amount families could receive to $20,000 a year for kids under six, with funding dropping to $5,000 per year after that until the child is 18 when funding becomes more limited.

The maximum amount was only available to families earning less than $55,000 a year.

Some advocates have also told Global News the provincial government's funding for families of adult children with autism, which was already difficult to receive, had become even more limited than before.

In the midst of widespread protests over the changes, in June the government announced it would back off the changes and conduct research to formulate a “new needs-based and sustainable autism program."

READ MORE: Ford government backs off changes to autism funding plan

Deskin said she hoped that would mean the funding for her son would be restored, but she said it still has not.

"He's getting nothing," she said, adding that he is required to have two therapists.

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“This is not the right direction for our province and this government needs to reverse tracks and look towards being more progressive on post-secondary “When the government says every student matters and they want to make sure all students have access to education I think that’s admirable but

Parents of children with autism gathered outside the Ontario legislature Thursday calling on the government to reverse a decision to defund intensive The Liberal government recently announced a new Ontario Autism Program with 3 million in funding , which will ultimately integrate Intensive

"They ripped it all away and he needs full support. And we are asking the government to give our children what they committed to them and what each individual child needs."

"Autism does not stop when you hit 18," Levy said.

"I don't know whether politicians actually realize the hell that these families have to go through just to make sure that their young adult kids with autism can get through a day without causing great harm to themselves, let alone worrying about how they're going to pay for what little help they can get without this funding."

In a statement to Global News Tuesday, Christine Wood, a spokesperson for Social Services Minister Todd Smith's office, said she could not comment on Levy and Deskin's specific claims because they are the subject of litigation.

"We are committed to giving adults with developmental disabilities, including autism, the support they need to fully participate in their communities," she said.

"In addition, our government is providing a needs-based, sustainable autism program that supports as many children as possible. That is why we are investing a record $600 million into the Ontario Autism Program."

- With files from Kevin Neilsen and Travis Dhanraj

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