Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley894 Pembroke Street West
Pembroke, Ontario K8A 5P8
Phone: 613-735-0659
Fax: 613-735-1373

Minister of Finance Holds Pre-Budget Consultations

Grayson Speaks to Minister Sousa on 2018 Ontario Budget

Chris Grayson, Executive Director of Community LIving Upper Ottawa Valley, was in Oshawa recently and spoke to Ontario Minister of Finance, Charles Sousa. The topic was pre-budget consultations for the upcoming 2018 Ontario budget. Minister Sousa was interested in hearing Ontarians’ views regarding what more the government could do to create jobs and grow the economy, while eliminating the deficit.

Grayson informed Minister Sousa that the developmental services sector has been without base funding for a decade, and hundreds of agencies are experiencing cumulative financial realities. Without immediate and long-term financial investments, the sector is facing serious challenges and tough decisions in the future.

Grayson also brought forward the issue of costs and implications associated with Bill 148. The changes have resulted in an added pressure on an already financially strained developmental services sector. It is also impacting individuals and families who are desperate for community agencies to respond in a proactive manner. The sector is already seeing an increase in the admission of individuals with intellectual disabilities to hospitals, inpatient health units and long-term care facilities - the new forms of institutionalization.

Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley has begun the process of selling properties they previously ran as group homes and are working diligently with local municipalities and community partners to find affordable housing for the people they support. Grayson suggested that if the government were to encourage and support formal partnerships with municipalities, that agencies may not need as many group homes in the future.

Finally, Grayson mentioned the developmental services sector’s request for an immediate investment of $300 million annualized that would help stabilize the sector, provide annualized increases for service expansion to address the 15,000 people currently sitting on the waitlist, and review staff compensation rates for pay equity obligations.