Statement by Minister Jaczek
Today, Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services, issued the following statement:
“I would like to acknowledge the work of the committee and thank all of the individuals and organizations that made submissions to help shape the report.
Our government is committed to helping meet the needs of people with developmental disabilities and their families and we will take the time necessary to consider the findings and recommendations in the report.
We followed the proceedings of the Select Committee closely from the beginning. We recognized the needs expressed in the submissions and saw an opportunity to take immediate action in several key areas.
Most significantly, the budget tabled last week proposes an investment of $810 million over the next three years to significantly strengthen developmental services in the province. If the budget passes, this investment would represent the single largest increase in funding to the developmental services system in Ontario. It would:
- Expand direct funding to serve 21,000 more individuals and families, and help eliminate the existing waitlists for Special Services at Home (SSAH) in two years and Passport in four years
- Provide support for urgent residential needs for approximately 1,400 people
- Support young adults as they navigate key life transitions such as going to school or getting a job
- Promote community living partnerships through expanded Host Family and Supported Independent Living programs
- Support agencies and front-line workers in the community services sector, and
- Promote innovation so that any savings can be re-invested into improving services.
We anticipate this investment will address some of the issues and concerns of the Select Committee, but we also understand that tackling the significant issues facing families and the developmental services sector is not just about more funding. We must also improve the system through better collaboration and stronger partnerships. To that end, we will work closer with individuals and families and especially with agencies, communities and our partner ministries as we consider the recommendations in the report.
I am confident the committee’s work will help us achieve our vision of an inclusive Ontario - one in which people with developmental disabilities are supported to live as independently as possible in our communities.”