The Stelmach Government is cutting funding to Albertans with developmental disabilities in a callous move to balance the budget on the backs of the disadvantaged in our Province.
More than 11 million dollars is being chopped from assistance given to people suffering from conditions such as autism, Down syndrome and fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).
Instead of changing his Cabinet, in a weak attempt to win the next election, Premier Ed Stelmach should have changed his Government’s attitude and reached out to those disabled Albertans who need a hand up not a hand out.
That would have demonstrated compassion and real leadership.
The cuts implemented by the Stelmach Government are mean spirited. Albertans use this funding for daily needs and a quality of life the rest of us take for granted.
This Government sees health care, education and social services as expense items on a balance sheet rather than investments in Albertans.
If this Government had not mismanaged our economy there would be plenty of funding for all Albertans living in the richest jurisdiction in North America.
This Government should ensure that persons involved in the Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) program receive the funding necessary for quality services and the quality of life they have a right to.
These cuts will harm the quality of life of Albertans like Kimberly Evanosko, Sarah Mah and Corey Prevost.
Kimberly is 25 and suffers from tuberous sclerosis and Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), which together have resulted in various medical issues and intellectual disabilities.
Kimberly receives residential support and although she can work she requires extra support in the work place. The organizations which assist her had their funding cut, and have been notified to expect further cuts in the upcoming budget.
Corey Prevost suffers from severe cerebral palsy, which has left him a quadriplegic with a developmental disability. He is non-verbal, and is dependent on his caregivers for everything. His mother, Teena Prevost, said “we just found these good services for Corey, and now here we are shortly after, worried that his supports and quality of life will be placed in jeopardy.”
Sarah Mau is affected by a genetic defect, Trisomy 18, which means that she requires one-on-one care, 24/7. During the day she is cared for by the Universal Rehabilitation Service Agency, and receives in-home respite care 4 hours a week.
Please tell the Stelmach Government to cease and desist funding cuts!