PORT HOPE, ON, Jan. 28, 2014 /CNW/ - Northumberland Child Development
Centre (NCDC), a respected agency that has been helping children and
families in our province for more than three decades, has been
subjected to funding cuts, threats and intimidation since the Ontario
government transferred the responsibility for child care services in
2013. Moreover, moves by the provincial and municipal governments will
cause "grave harm" to Northumberland residents in desperate need of
"The Wynne government and Northumberland County have been acting in a
manner that's secretive, callous, and quite frankly, outrageous," said
Clare Paterson, Executive Director at NCDC. "And when we spoke out
about what was happening, the County tried to muzzle us, and put us out
Tomorrow, Northumberland County Council will be voting on a motion to
further eliminate NCDC's Special Needs Resourcing funding, effectively
crippling NCDC's programs and services. "We fear that tomorrow's
council meeting will result in the end of NCDC and, most seriously, the
end to services that so many people in our community depend on to
survive," Paterson said, "The families, the youth, the unemployed and
the disadvantaged that count on us to help them will be devastated."
NCDC clients echo that sentiment. "It feels like the fix is in," said
Michelle Higginson, a parent whose family relies on NCDC's services.
"It seems like provincial and municipal officials don't like the fact
that NCDC fights so passionately for people like us, so they've decided
to shut them down. I'd like them to know that NCDC has changed my
child's - and my entire family's - life for the better. If it weren't
for them, I don't know what would've happened to us."
Paterson and Higginson predict that the County intends to hand over
NCDC's funding to a provincially funded agency that is located far from
the people NCDC has served since 1979. Paterson added, "Tomorrow
morning we expect that the County is going to try to silence us
forever, but we're not going to let them. We will fight every step and
with every means we have."
NCDC and its supporters will be kicking off an intensive campaign of
public awareness, and possibly legal action, to fight Northumberland
County's pre-ordained decision. "Premier Kathleen Wynne's government
has done nothing to help us, allowing local political leaders to pursue
a narrow political agenda aimed at killing off NCDC," said Paterson.
"We will speak out at tomorrow's County Council meeting and fight this
sneaky and dishonest move."
SOURCE: NORTHUMBERLAND CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTRE
For further information:
Northumberland Child Development Centre
Tel: (905) 885-8137 Ext. 212