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Press Releases 2004

December 13, 2004

For Immediate Release

Klees welcomes announcement for new

Children's Treatment Centre for York Region and Simcoe County

Richmond Hill:   Frank Klees, MPP for Oak Ridges, was joined today by York North MPP, Julia Munro, and parent activist, Cindy DeCarlo to demand that the Provincial Government fund a Children's Treatment Centre for Simcoe County & York Region, the only area in the entire province not to have a local centre.

With the help of the friends and families of children with Special Needs they have come together to send a message to the Ontario Government that the children in York Region and Simcoe County with Special Needs urgently need a Children's Treatment Centre.   For too long the families of these children have had to travel to Toronto or distant locations for treatment.

Ms DeCarlo told the rally participants "Parents need to stand together and send Queen's Park a message.   Our children deserve the same rights to services as every other child living in Ontario.   Everyone knows that early intervention is key and that is why it just isn't right to put these children on waiting lists that are up to a year and longer.   This doesn't only impact children with special needs, it impacts entire families. If something is not done soon, existing programs will be in jeopardy!"

Mr. Klees expressed his support by stating, "It is estimated that by 2006 there will be in excess of 14,000 children with complex needs in York Region.   The service providers from health, education and social services have been waiting a long time for this centre.   This should be a priority for this government."

Klees forced a special debate in the legislature on this issue on November 25 th during which he challenged the government to prioritize this issue and to commit the necessary funding.

                                                                                                               

In his remarks today, Klees welcomed the announcement made by the Minister of Children and Youth Services, Dr. Marie Bountrogianni, at the Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital, as "an important first step", and praised the efforts of Cindy DeCarlo and her parents group who have been advocating for these services. "That we are finally hearing a response from the government is welcome news.   The issue now, is to translate this announcement into services for the children of York Region and Simcoe County".

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For further information:

Frank Klees, MPP

416-325-7316