Hundreds of parents, therapists and union members gather outside Queen’s Park to protest the provincial government’s changes to Ontario’s autism program.
Families of children with autism say the plan released last month by Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod will leave children without access to the treatment they need.
The protesters are asking the government to back down. They consider that the new amounts granted directly to parents of autistic children are not enough.
MacLeod faces strong criticism following the redesign of the program , which aims to eliminate the waiting list of 23,000 children by providing direct funding to all parents whose children have been diagnosed with autism.
The new program came into effect on April 1, but critics of the reform say they do not have all the details about how it works.
Although she is at Queen’s Park, Minister MacLeod said she will not attend the event because “the tone of the debate has raised concerns about her personal safety.”
Ms. MacLeod’s office even claims to have received threats through social media and telephone. A spokeswoman the minister adds that police have been contacted as a result of these threats.