Have Kathleen Wynne and the Ontario Liberals `Jumped the Shark`?
For those of us of a certain age we have imbedded in our minds the image of Fonzie water skiing, while wearing his leather jacket, jumping over a shark and lived to tell about it! It is widely accepted that it was the beginning of the end of the TV Show `Happy Days`. Rating for the show started dip following the fifth season, the season in which the shark was jumped.
It is difficult to determine just when the Wynne government jumped the shark, as there are so many different decisions they have made. I suggest that the decision to change the funding for Autism and their radical way to reduce the IBI wait list for IBI treatment funding is the moment Kathleen Wynne jumper her shark!
The autism announcement did not start like a shark moment, it was quite the opposite. March 29 2016, the Ontario government announced it was investing $333M to improve Autism services in Ontario.
In its news release the government said:
The newly expanded children's autism program will make it easier for families to access services for their children by reducing wait times, providing more flexible services based on children's needs, and serving more children and youth. It will also help children receive intensive therapy services during the key early developmental years.
As it turns out the government foreshadowed how it would reduce wait times in that statement with `…it will help children receive intensive therapy services during the key early developmental year`s…` If only we had read between the lines when the announcement was made.
Flash forward to only a couple weeks later when it was announced that children over the age of five would no longer receive the intensive therapy. Children over five currently receiving the therapy were reportedly immediately cut off and therapy was halted.
In one swish of the budgetary knife, the waitlist was greatly reduced!
The impact of this one decision on families has been widely reported with harsh words for Premier Kathleen Wynne and Children and Youth Services Minister Tracy MacCharles.
This heartless measure will prove to be the `jump the shark` moment for the Wynne government. Even if this decision is reversed and the funding is restored for children that have ASD there will be no more good faith left with this government.
There have been many defining moments of this government with their bad decisions that have detrimental effects on Ontarians. This however, is their moment where Kathleen Wynne and this Liberal government has shown how little they cares for families and Autistic children. There is NO going back on this moment to gain back the trust and whatever good faith they had left with the Ontario electorate.
Kathleen Wynne has indeed `jumped the shark`!
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