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Government apology not enough

By: Letter to the Editor

 | Jan 24, 2014 - 10:09 AM |
On Dec. 9, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne offered a heartfelt apology to the former residents of Huronia, the provincial institution for people with developmental disabilities.

Premier Wynne expressed the government’s remorse as part of a $35 million settlement of a class-action suit by the people who suffered abuse by staff at the now-closed facility.

However, unless the premier is putting another apology on the government’s agenda for a few years hence, she must stop ignoring the current and continuing plight of adults with developmental disabilities who are woefully underserved by the current system.

Community-based services for supported adults were meant to replace institutions like Huronia. Yet successive Ontario governments — and Wynne’s is only the latest — have refused to provide adequate funding for this system.

The premier’s apology sounded sincere, and perhaps it was. But year after year, people with developmental disabilities and their families bear the burden of dramatic shortfalls in provincial funding for the supports they need.

They must wonder whether theirs will be the next crisis to require an apology from the government.

Bev Desjardins
Greater Sudbury

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