Patrick Brown Attends Brampton Autism Rally

 

While the ongoing, series of events between the provincial government and autism advocacy groups regarding changes to the Ontario Autism Program continue, one public figure in particular has inserted himself into the spotlight.

This morning (Feb. 27), at a rally held in Brampton, Mayor Patrick Brown showed up to lend his support to protestors rallying against the provincial government’s recent revisions to the autism program.

As a bit of a primer regarding the emotionally-charged series of events, the new OAP, set to begin on April 1, indicates that a family can receive a maximum of $140,000 in total funding, which depends on the child’s age and the family’s household income.

The provincial government, and, in turn Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Lisa Macleod, aims to eliminate the waitlist for treatment, by sending money directly to families, instead of regional service providers.

Although MacLeod defends the move by saying more children will receive support, the plan has still garnered considerable backlash.

Many individuals who are parents and guardians of children with autism, in addition to governmental figures like Liberal MPP Michael Coteau, express concern, saying the program doesn’t differentiate between children who have a mild form of autism and those who require intensive therapy.

This would render the latter intensive treatments as unaffordable.

Not receiving any clear communication from the government about the finer details of the new program was another concern parents expressed.

Back to Mayor Brown, however.

Although Brown showed up this morning at the protest to give his support to families who were protesting the changes to the autism program, social media was quick to respond with strong feelings of his presence there.

Perhaps there’s a feeling of piety, as social media also recalled that Brown’s 2016 People’s Guarantee plan did not add any additional funding where autism plays a factor in families.

Or, perhaps it’s a way of Brown firmly positioning himself against Macleod, and, in turn, Doug Ford, the latter of which essentially usurped his leadership as leader of the provincial PC’s.

Time will tell where the line will be drawn in regards to Brown and his cold war against the provincial government, which continues on another front with Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli.

At least, however, Brown is bringing the issue more attention and lending support to the people who need it most.

What do you think of Brown showing up to lend his support to families protesting the Ontario Autism Plan changes this morning?

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