One of Doug Ford's top ministers is finding herself in hot water. Ontarians are calling for Minister Lisa MacLeod to resign after she introduced major changes to children's services and amid allegations that she threatened and bullied an Ontario group of behavioural analysts. All this comes shortly after the Ford Government announced major changes were coming to autism support in Ontario.
The changes meant that rather than money for autism support going to services, the money would go directly to the families. This also cuts a waitlist of about 23,000 children and families that were waiting to receive support and treatment services for autism in Ontario. However, this new program gives every child the same amount of money and that number has been greatly reduced.
Previously, while thousands were on the waiting list, those who were receiving treatment had it fully funded. Now under the new system, every single parent will have to part out of pocket for any therapy or support services.
Lisa MacLeod's system will give children under 6 years old $20,000 per year. Children 6-18 years old will get only $6000 per year. One Ontario parent told CTV that therapy for his child cost $5000 per month. That means under the new system he will only have four months paid for and then once his child turns six, it will cover just over one month of treatment.
Parents are angered over this new system, so much so that a new hashtag #resignlisamacleod has been trending on Twitter.
As a father of an autistic boy, I assure you I’m not going to let this go. I’m only just getting started. Believe me, the “long four years” will be YOURS. #ResignLisaMacLeod— ForPetesSake 🐓🍷 (@CleanPeteCan) 14 February 2019
Like, the autism thing was terrible but there are a million reasons Lisa MacLeod should resign. #ResignLisaMacLeod— Chelsea La Vecchia (@ChelseaLaVecch) 14 February 2019
Many including the Ontario Autism Coalition have vowed to protest those changes, but that's not all they're mad about.
Recently the Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysts came out claiming that Minister MacLeod told them if they didn't publicly support the new system it would be a long four years for them. MacLeod and her office deny these claims, but people are still outraged by the allegation.
For years, Autism supports in Ont have been broken - yet the PCs are dragging us even further backwards by forcing thousands of families to make due with less, all while threatening those who won't support this harmful plan. It's time to #ResignLisaMacLeod #AutismDoesntEndAtFord pic.twitter.com/R6FPOlttsL— Lisa Gretzky (@LGretzky) 14 February 2019
Lisa has been lying to and threatening these autism organizations to support her plan. They’re all disgusted with her. @fordnation Read the article. Lisa MacLeod should be asked to resign. https://t.co/LH1LzswtIh— Vicki Campbell (@merry123459) 14 February 2019
In response to the allegation and calls for Lisa MacLeod to resign, Doug Ford said he hadn't spoken to MacLeod but won't ask her to resign. He even praised her work saying that the autism system revamp is the hardest job in the government right now.