June 2, 2014
Mr. Roy O’Leary
Community Living Ontario email@example.com
Dear Mr. O’Leary:
As Premier, I became convinced it was essential for our Ontario Liberal government to address the urgent needs facing people with developmental disabilities and their families.
That is why I supported our 2014 Budget proposal to make the largest investment in developmental services ever — $810 million over three years, to end the wait lists for direct funding programs.
When we announced this funding, the Progressive Conservatives said it was a waste of money.
The NDP said nothing, and their recent platform continues to be silent on services for people with developmental disabilities. Moreover, they opposed the most progressive budget in decades, which included the $810 million investment in developmental services.
If my government is given another mandate, we will absolutely reintroduce the budget and carry this forward as planned.
This new $810 million investment, which would have begun to flow as early as September, would:
- Expand direct funding programs to help individuals with developmental disabilities participate in their communities:
o Eliminate waitlists for the for the Passport program over four years; and
o Eliminate waitlists for the Special Services at Home program over two years.
- Expand individualized planning to help individuals with developmental disabilities transition to adulthood, find employment and achieve greater independence;
- Provide residential supports to adults with urgent needs, including support to transition young adults currently receiving youth residential services to more appropriate adult services and supports; and
- Expand cost-effective residential services and promote innovative community living solutions that support greater inclusion of people with developmental disabilities into communities.
People with developmental disabilities rely on hundreds of agencies across Ontario for a wide array of safe, high-quality services. We will invest $200 million over three years for the front-line workers in these agencies to ensure families have the services they require in their communities.
Specifically, this investment will support the continued professionalization of the community and developmental services sector and support salaries and wages for front-line workers, including those in lower wage bands. It will support overall transformation of the sector by providing agencies with the flexibility needed to modernize how they offer the right mix of services to vulnerable Ontarians.
Only the Ontario Liberal Party has committed to making this investment in the developmental services sector. The back-and-forth from the PC party on this issue demonstrates a lack of commitment to helping the most vulnerable in society. The reckless cuts being proposed would hurt the services we hold dear and plunge Ontario back into recession. As for the NDP, make no mistake – they opposed the $810 million investment in this sector. They had the chance to support the most progressive budget in decades, and despite advice from the community they chose to force us into an unnecessary election. The opposition have put this funding at risk for political gain, and the people we serve are caught in the middle.
I am very proud to have brought these long-needed improvements forward and, given the opportunity, I’m determined to see them through.
Thank you for the important work you and your colleagues do.
Please accept my best wishes.
Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party