July 24th, 2020

Auditor General confirms investigation into $174 M in Ford government’s autism spending claims

NDP requested an audit of the Ontario Autism Program following Ford’s misleading claims

QUEEN’S PARK – Monique Taylor, NDP critic for Children and Youth Services released a letter from Ontario’s Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk , confirming her investigation into the Ford government’s misleading spending claims of $174 million, flagged by the Financial Accountability Officer in his recent report on the Ontario Autism program.

Lysyk’s letter is in response to Taylor’s written request for the audit.

“The Ford government needs to stop misleading families of children with autism, who need honesty and action, not more deception,” said Taylor.

“The FAO made it clear that this government is not doing enough to help children with autism, no matter how many accounting tricks it uses to inflate its spending claims.

“While the Liberals left the Ontario Autism Program in shambles, Doug Ford is making it worse. He isn’t even providing half of what’s needed, and he’s allowed wait lists to balloon, leaving children to languish while they wait for the services they need.”

New Democrats are holding Doug Ford accountable for his deception after the FAO said that $174 million was not going to families and would seem to artificially inflate the amount spent on the Ontario Autism Program.

The NDP is committed to a fully funded needs-based autism program. That would ensure — like health care – children would access autism services based on what they require, not based on their age, or arbitrary standard financial allocations per child.

“The Financial Accountability Officer puts the cost of what’s needed to support children with autism at $1.4 billion. We believe this is an essential investment, urgently needed to give these children a chance to live to their full potential,” said Taylor.

The letter from Ontario’s Auditor General