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Frontline workers optimistic as Select Committee on Developmental Services releases final report

Toronto, ON – Just over a week after the release of the Ontario budget, the Select Committee on Developmental Services is ready to submit their final report, and frontline workers are hoping to see real solutions to growing demands in the sector.

Mandated to develop a comprehensive developmental services strategy to address the urgent needs of those with an intellectual disability in Ontario, the committee was due to release their findings earlier this May, but the call for a provincial election halted their work.

“We are happy to see that the committee has reconvened following the provincial election, said Joanne Smithers, a developmental service worker with Community Living Guelph-Wellington and president of CUPE 4392. While we are eager to see their findings, we anticipate the report will reinforce what we have been saying for years: there is a real crisis in developmental services.”

There are currently 23,000 individuals on waitlists for residential care, respite care and day programs, including 12,000 families waiting for residential support. Years of provincial underfunding have meant program closures, service cuts and reduced staff hours for programs and services.

“We are optimistic about the funding tabled in last week’s budget but we want to be clear that the proposed money needs to address critical issues – eliminating waitlists for residential support, better access for individuals and families to residential care and adequate funding for community-based agencies and staff – and we are hopeful the committee’s recommendations will reflect that,” added Smithers.

CUPE represents over 8,000 members working in developmental services in 55 community agencies across the province.

For more information, please contact:

Joanne Smithers, 519-820-5945
Craig Saunders, CUPE Communications, 416-576-7316
Marjorie Savoie, 613-864-9924