Frank Klees

Press Release

Growing wait list for Speech-Language therapy in York Region schools

                                                                    

MPP HOSTS

FACT FINDING MEETING ON

 SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY

SERVICES CRISIS

IN YORK REGION SCHOOLS

May 11 in Aurora see details

Download PETITION

                                   This petition will be read into the records by Mr. Klees. He read the petiton on May 6th and will  continue to do so as often as possible. Transcript of May 6th

News

Bob Hepburn : McGuinty must help those who feel "like garbage"    July 8, 2010                  

"Conservative MPP Frank Klees (Newmarket-Aurora) is the only politician demanding action from Queen’s Park and health officials. He has held a town-hall meeting on the issue and initiated a petition signed by thousands of residents calling for the government to act."

Bob Hepburn of the Toronto Star Ontario’s disgraceful cuts to speech therapy

          Bob says," What’s needed is for someone to step up and be accountable for this disgraceful mess."

Sean Pearce of the Era Banner interviews Aurora parents Speech therapy waiting list angers parents  

Special Debate May 4th

"It was clear from the answer I received, that the Minister responsible either doesn't understand the issue or doesn’t want to deal with it.  I advised the Speaker of my dissatisfaction with the answer and requested a special debate time during which I will focus the Minister's attention on the issue and hopefully get her to realize the importance

of getting the more than 1,000 students in York Region the support they need," said Klees.

The debate was held on May 4th at 6:00PM

                                       Watch the Video >>>

    

Video Available April 29th:     

April 29, 2010

Wait List for Speech Therapy at Crisis Level

(Queen’s Park) Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees today called on the Premier to intervene on behalf of the more than 1,000 children in York Region schools who are on a growing wait list for speech and language therapy.

Klees became aware of the issue after hearing from parents, teachers and therapists about what was described to him as a "developing crisis" involving children who are struggling with speech and language disorders.

"Not only has the wait list grown from 449 to more than 1,000 over the past 12 months, there appears to be no plan to deal with the issue," said Klees.  "Parents are being told that if they want timely treatment for their children, they should get private therapy. That out-of-pocket cost is beyond the ability of most parents, and that kind of pressure shouldn't be placed on the shoulders of parents.”

"On behalf of the parents of the more than 1,000 children, on behalf of their teachers and on behalf of those students, I’m asking why these children are being left without the essential support they so desperately need and what the government’s plans are to address the issue.” 

A transcript of Klees’ questions and the Minister’s responses are available at: below

                                                                                    -30-

Video Available:

ONTARIO HANSARD

April 29, 2010

Children’s services

Mr. Frank Klees: My question is for the Premier, because I know that he’ll be very concerned about what’s happening with our schools.

 

I have, Premier, a letter from the central CCAC confirming that 12 months ago there were 449 children on the wait-list for speech-language pathology in the York region public and Catholic schools alone, and that today there are more than a thousand children on that wait-list. These are children who are struggling with speech-language disorders which can have serious long-term consequences without timely intervention.

 

Can the Premier tell us why more than 1,000 children in York region are being denied essential speech-language therapy and why their parents are being told they have to pay for private therapy if they want timely treatment?

 

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: To the Minister of Children and Youth Services.

 

Hon. Laurel C. Broten: I’m pleased to talk about this important issue. Ensuring that children across the province have timely access to preschool speech and language is something that every community agency that my ministry funds—for example, the Ontario Early Years, the Toronto Preschool Speech and Language—it’s an important service delivery model. It helps those children in their earliest years, to ensure they get the help they need. I have seen first-hand the incredible work that’s done in community organizations.

 

At the same time, as we look to see that our kids will be in all-day junior kindergarten and senior kindergarten, we know that the education system will be called upon to then take up the continued work for kids in the school. I know that the Minister of Education, as our two ministries work very closely together to make sure there’s a continuum of services for kids zero to four and—

 

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. Supplementary?

 

Mr. Frank Klees: This is absolutely bizarre. The Hansard record will show that the minister didn’t even hear the question.

 

I’m talking about children, more than a thousand on a wait-list in York region alone, who are not getting speech-language therapy. Here is what a therapist says: “I will have eight clients in my caseload this May, compared with 25 that I had at the same time last year. Many of my colleagues are in a similar predicament and are wondering why the referrals have suddenly stopped.”

 

We’re wondering that too. Therapists are not getting the referrals to treat children. Children—more than a thousand—are not getting speech-language therapy. I’d like to know from the minister: Why are these children being kept on a wait-list and what will she do about it?

 

Hon. Laurel C. Broten: I guess the question is somewhat rich, coming from someone who was on the other side of government when those services truly did not receive additional support.

 

Since 2003, we have increased funding for preschool speech and language by up to 40%. With that funding, we have been able to expand the preschool speech and language program to serve an additional 7,000 children with complex special needs each year.

 

As you might have heard earlier this week, we announced that I’ll be working closely with Dr. Charles Pascal to look at all of the services that we provide children from zero to four, to find a way to ensure that those services are best delivered, get out to the front lines and respond to the issues of need in each community.

 

I look forward to speaking to the member to learn about the specific circumstances that exist in his community, but I can tell him that we are—

 

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. New question.