Statement by Ontario NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo (Parkdale-High Park) on Ombudsman’s “Nowhere to Turn” Report

“I want to thank the Ombudsman and his whole team for their work on behalf of adults with developmental disabilities and their families.

Adults with developmental disabilities and their families have heard the Liberals make promise after promise that things would get better, even as they face the same old problems. They heard more promises today. This is not the leadership that people were promised, and they are being let down. As the Ombudsman said, “[w]ithout significant additional reform, many uniquely vulnerable people will continue to be lost in the system and experience harm because of inadequate supports and services.”

New Democrats believe in opportunity and security for everyone which is why the Ministry must immediately act on all of the Ombudsman's recommendations, and in particular get rid of waitlists for services.

Today the Ombudsman highlighted the fact that adults with developmental disabilities in Ontario are facing a “modern-day version of institutionalization.”  That is unacceptable. Ontarians with developmental disabilities deserve to live with dignity, and they deserve access to the supports that will allow them to thrive. Instead, families find themselves on endless wait lists, and in worst case scenarios, people like Guy Mitchell and Jamie Hawley have lost their lives.  In 2016, there is simply no excuse for adults with developmental disabilities dying in care.

In the words of the Ombudsman, "[t]he time has come to move beyond apologies and work towards a consistent, co-ordinated, collaborative, and responsive developmental services system, able to effectively and humanely meet the needs of individuals and families in crisis ". 

People don’t need more promises, they need solutions. As the Ombudsman said, the real test will be whether things actually change.”

Cheri DiNovo sat as a member of the Select Committee on Developmental Services.