(TORONTO – April 4, 2018) – On Wednesday, March 28th, the Wynne government announced
their plan for “Care and Opportunity” in the 2018 budget, including an investment of $1.8 billion
over three years to expand services for Ontarians who have an intellectual disability. The
budget aims to address a number of long standing issues for individuals with a developmental
disability, their families and community service agencies. It also provides much needed
enhancements to Ontario Works and the ODSP program that will create opportunities for
employment and community participation and improve quality of life.
The announcement of an expansion of direct funding for the Passport program which will
guarantee at least $5,000 in annualized funding for more than 40,000 people with an intellectual
disability, starting when individuals turn 18 years old is helpful news for families.
“For years parents have feared the metaphorical ‘cliff’ their child experiences when they turn 18
and they lose Special Services At Home funding only to be put on a wait list that is often years
long.” says Brad Saunders, CEO of Community Living Toronto. “This investment is an
encouraging first step towards providing the guaranteed supports that every individual should be
entitled to when transitioning to adulthood. By removing the ‘cliff’, this investment will set people
on the right track to living full and meaningful lives in their communities.”
In addition, the budget outlined positive changes to the ODSP program, including the elimination
of asset limits and adding a 3 percent annual increase to rates for three years starting in the fall
of 2018. $200 million over the next three years will go directly to operating budgets of
community agencies, providing stability and ensuring the continuation of high quality services
for those individuals who are currently supported by the Developmental Services sector.
“This investment comes at a critical time as community based services teeter on the brink after
nearly a decade without funding increases. Ever growing wait lists and a serious shortage of
funded services have created a sense of hopelessness for families and community agencies.”
says Saunders “Community Living Toronto believes that when fully implemented, this longawaited
investment will be a bold move towards a more inclusive Ontario for all.”
About Community Living Toronto
Since 1948 Community Living Toronto has been a leader in developing community-based
services and supports for people with an intellectual disability and their families. One of the
largest organizations of its kind in Canada, Community Living Toronto provides services and
support to over 4,000 people and their families across Toronto. Our mission is to change the
lives of people with an intellectual disability by giving them a voice, and supporting their choices
where they live, learn, work and play.
For more information, contact:
Matthew Poirier, Manager, Policy & Stakeholder Relations (416-319-7016)
Or Karla Dendrinos, Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator (647-501-2075)
Download the PDF version here: Media Release Ontario Budget 2018
Read more about the budget in depth on the Government of Ontario website, here.