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Press Releases 2006

For Immediate Release

September 25, 2006


Broken autism and emergency room promises continue to hurt the province


(Queen's Park) - Progressive Conservative Party Leader John Tory  and Oak Ridges MPP Frank Klees, Education Critic for the Official Opposition  today used the return of the Legislature to press Dalton McGuinty to explain to Ontarians why his broken promises keep hurting the province.

"Dalton McGuinty said whatever he thought he needed to say to win an election," said Tory. "He told parents of autistic children his government would provide treatment for their children beyond age six but has gone back on his word. Today in Question Period he refused to be accountable for that promise."

During the last election campaign, Dalton McGuinty wrote to Nancy Morrison, the parent of an autistic child, and said: " I.believe that the lack of government-funded IBI treatment for autistic children over six is unfair and discriminatory ." He also promised to deliver these therapies in schools.

During Question Period today, Tory pointed to some of the many letters he has received from autistic parents. He asked Dalton McGuinty: "What do you have to say to Lisa Prasuhn who wrote to me about her daughter Carolyne saying 'Almost 3 years have gone by and our child has not yet received a single hour of IBI therapy from this province, despite the promises and press releases emanating from this government and this Minister'?"

Tory also pressed Dalton McGuinty on another promise from his 2003 election platform about hospital emergency rooms. "Dalton McGuinty promised to unclog hospital ERs and he's broken that promise," said Tory. "No fewer than 19 communities in Ontario faced severe doctor shortages in recent months that threatened to close their emergency rooms."

Dalton McGuinty promised in 2003 to "unclog existing ERs." During Question Period, Tory pointed to emergency rooms in Ingersoll, Hanover, Kirkland Lake, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie and Atikokan.

"People are worried for themselves and for their families," said Tory. "People are waiting hours to be seen and they are waiting for Dalton McGuinty to keep his promise. When are we going to see some real action on this file?"

Klees questioned the new Education Minister on what was her first major announcement, accusing her of learning the McGuinty government's "spin over substance" style very quickly.  He was referring to her announcement to establish a so-called reference group, which would study the best practices for treatment of autism.  " My question is why has it taken you three years to bring those people to the table to find out what the best practices are? Ask the parents: They'll tell you what the best practices are. You don't need another reference group, what is needed is action."



Copy of the Hansard record

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