TORONTO, Sept. 15 /CNW/ - Today Dalton McGuinty is claiming he "kept and
exceeded" his promise to the parents of children with autism.
Here are the facts:
- In 2003, Dalton McGuinty promised the parent of a child with autism
that he would "devise a feasible way in which autistic children in
our province can get the support and treatment they need. That
includes children over the age of six" (E-mail from Dalton McGuinty
to Nancy Morrison, September 17, 2003).
- In April 2005, Dalton McGuinty chose to appeal a ruling of the
Ontario Superior Court that the age cut off for IBI treatment
violated the constitutional rights of children with autism (Woodstock
Sentinel-Review, April 6, 2005).
- Dalton McGuinty then took NDP MPP Shelley Martel to court when she
tried to find out how much the Ontario government spent on the court
case. This was after Dalton McGuinty fought Martel's freedom of
information request and was told by the Information and
Privacy Commissioner that he had to release the information
(Globe and Mail, March 14, 2007).
- And if all of that wasn't bad enough, Dalton McGuinty tried to force
the parents of children with autism to pay for the government's
$85,000 legal bill for the court case that he chose to continue in
April 2005 (Toronto Star, June 11, 2007).
- Meanwhile, the waiting list for autism treatment has grown from 89 in
early 2004 to nearly 1,100 children as of August 2007 (Toronto Star,
January 19, 2007, Timmins Daily Press, August 18, 2007).
Now Dalton McGuinty is making another promise to the parents of children
with autism. He says he's going to provide IBI treatment in schools. But what
to make of a March 1, 2007 memo from Ben Levin, Deputy Minister of Education
that made it very clear Dalton McGuinty would not be offering IBI in Ontario's
"Based upon your work and in support of the recommendations of the
reference group the Ministry will soon release a PPM on the use of
Applied Behavioural analysis (ABA) in schools. The focus of this PPM
will be ABA teaching practices and not Intensive Behavioural
Dalton McGuinty couldn't be trusted in 2003. Why would the parents of
autistic children trust him in 2007?
For further information:
For further information: Mike Van Soelen, (647) 722-1760