Preparing for the Election

Other than the time I ran for a seat in the student association of my university, I’ve never been more engaged in an election before.

In Ontario, Canada, there is a provincial election coming up. Since the provinces manage health, education and social services, the government that gets formed this time will more important to me than ever.

I volunteered to be on the steering committee of an disability advocacy group made up of representatives from many different associations. As a member of the election sub-committee, I’m educating myself about the platforms of the leaders of the two major parties and getting ready to send out messages to go out to the leaders and the public.

The whole steering committee talked about what message we wanted to put out. Our message has two elements. The first is that social services for people with disabilities should be a right, just like education and health care in Ontario. The second message is about ending wait times for services.

The current government put a lot of money into ending wait times at hospitals, but what about for services for families with a child with a disability? We want to show the government that putting money directly into the hands of parents can be cheaper than through agencies, and will give parents choice. It will allow them to seek their own assessments, and services, and save the government money in the long run. Parents could get funding in their hands to do what is right for their children, rather than what the government thinks is right.

Raising taxes is an unpopular platform so we have to show the general public and the leaders in government how giving parents access to funds can be cheaper.

What kind of funding do you get? Is it enough and of the right kind? Are wait lists a problem for you? Is the paperwork a burden or manageable?

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