ST. THOMAS, ON, May 24, 2012 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government's decision
to close the St. Thomas office of the Ontario Disability Support
Program will force 2,200 people with disabilities to go to London to
receive help, says the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.
"It's called the Ontario Disability Support Program for a reason," said
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "You don't provide support to
people, many with mobility challenges, by forcing them to travel to see
It is a 30 to 45 minute commute by car to London from St. Thomas,
depending on the time of day. There are only four buses a day.
The government says the closure of the St. Thomas office will save the
government $140,000 a year in leasing costs.
The closure will cause extreme hardship for many ODSP clients who are on
limited income and don't have easy access to transportation, according
to the union.
"This is a cut in services, pure and simple," says Thomas. "Many
disabled clients will have trouble getting to London, meaning they
won't get the face-to-face advice and counselling they need to help
them achieve their potential."
The closure will impact 11 staff and one manager, all of whom will move
OPSEU represents 1,800 ODSP staff province-wide, including the staff in
SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
For further information:
Dave Kerr, past president, OPSEU Local 115
Cell: (519) 318-3861