WINDSOR AND LONDON — Doug Ford is moving Minister Merrilee Fullerton away from the disaster she helped create in long-term care, and putting her in charge of Children, Community and Social Services — leaving vulnerable people and families of children with autism extremely worried.
“The entire province witnessed Merrilee Fullerton’s heartless and ineffective response to the horror she allowed to unfold in Ontario’s long-term care homes over the past year, and people are understandably insulted and concerned by Ford’s inexplicable decision to put her back in charge of more vulnerable people like people with developmental disabilities and recipients of OW and ODSP,” said NDP critic for Social Services Lisa Gretzky. “Ontarians deserve better. They deserve someone committed to building up support and services, not cutting them down.”
Among the vulnerable people Fullerton will be responsible for are children with autism. Their families have waited years for a proper Ontario Autism Program after cuts, delays, brutal wait lists and underfunding by both the Liberal and Ford governments.
“Fullerton failed to show any urgency or compassion even as seniors were being ravaged by the pandemic, and neglected to death,” said Teresa Armstrong, NDP critic for Children and Youth Services. “These families have been to hell and back fighting government after government for the support their kids deserve. Their children have lost valuable developmental time because of Ford’s cuts. I can understand why they’re worried that things are about to get worse, instead of better.
“The NDP is going keep fighting tooth and nail until families get the Ontario Autism Program they deserve – a fully funded, fully needs-based program.”