TORONTO, Nov. 20, 2012 /CNW/ - On a day that should be celebrated for
achievements made in child protection and treatment, Ontario is
shortchanging its most vulnerable young people by failing to provide
adequate funding for their needs, says the president of the Ontario
Public Service Employees Union.
"Today, November 20, is National Child Day across Canada," said OPSEU
president Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "But the track record here in Ontario
is one marked by a funding shortfall, cutbacks in services and
insufficient staff levels to meet the growing demand for child
protection and treatment."
This year alone, Ontario is faces a $42 million funding shortfall to the
CAS. To balance their budgets local agencies are forced to cut staff
and programming at many CAS locations.
OPSEU, which represents more than 6,000 workers with the Children's Aid
Society and other child treatment agencies, is marking National Child
Day by organizing noon hour "block walks" and other activities that
will draw attention to the province's neglect of the needs of
vulnerable children and their families. The public will be asked to
sign postcards to the Minister of Child and Youth Services, Laurel
Broten, demanding that Queen's Park restore funding in order to protect
and restore programs at risk.
The problem is particularly severe in Waterloo Region where the local
CAS has been forced to eliminate almost 30 staff positions in order to
cover a $2.5 million deficit.
"What our government doesn't seem to understand or chooses to willfully
ignore is that behind those dollar figures are real children facing
real mental, social and physical challenges in their lives," said
Thomas. "When you take away those dollars in the name of austerity and
deficit-busting a child and their family are negatively impacted. Is
this the sort of legacy our government has chosen to adopt?"
SOURCE: Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
For further information:
Greg Hamara, OPSEU Communications, 647-238-9933