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2018 Ontario Budget: Building a Better Future

March 29, 2018 – Thornhill, ON – Reena is very pleased that the 2018 Ontario budget provides the opportunity for citizens with developmental disabilities a better future.

Moving Forward
We congratulate the government of Ontario for tabling a budget that will afford opportunities to Ontario’s developmentally disabled citizens for a better future. The budget has created opportunities in education, employment, housing, health and in support services that moves forward and extends the opportunity for citizenship and quality of life. Reena looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Honourable Michael Coteau, Minister and Ministry of Community and Social Services (primary funder) and the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs to strengthen the opportunities across all relevant ministries for those with developmental disabilities over the next 3 years and beyond. 

MCSS Opportunities to Care
The proposed additional investment of $1.8 billion over the next three years in developmental services builds on the last four years of investments in the sector. Representing  the single largest investment to developmental services in the province’s history it is intended to help stabilize core services (unintended costs associated with Bill 148 , base operating inflationary pressures  )  while increasing resources to individuals and their caregivers including:

  • Expanding direct funding to Passport Program to ensure that more 40,000 eligible people with a developmental disability will receive at least $5,000 per year, providing choice and flexibility in receiving critical supports and services;
  • Supporting more than 800 people with developmental disabilities who are inappropriately housed in hospitals, long-term care homes, shelters or correctional facilities in moving into suitable safe homes in their community;
  • Encouraging innovative housing solutions at the community level that will increase residential capacity and improve in-home supports, including respite for caregivers to alleviate the challenges associated with full-time care, allowing people to live at home longer;
  • Funding increases of more than $200 million over three years to over 350 community-based agencies to continue the delivery of high-quality services and enhance the capacity of service providers, ensuring long-term sustainability of the sector.

Inter-Ministerial Opportunities
As with all citizens of Ontario, those with developmental disabilities stand to gain from many other initiatives mentioned in the budget, such as, ODSP, enhanced seniors services and funds, mental health initiatives, pharmacare, dental care and housing for vulnerable communities, to name a few.

Specifically, we anticipate that in line with the National Housing Strategy, at least 5% of the more than $1 billion invested each year in affordable housing will be allocated, with supports, to those with developmental disabilities. 

  • Over 18% of people who live in shelters have a developmental disability
  • Over 50% of those with developmental disabilities live with significant medical issues
  • Women with a developmental disability are 65% more likely to experience abuse
  • 90% of those with developmental disabilities live below the poverty line

Reena will continue to work very closely with MCSS and the other affected Ministries to ensure that those with developmental disabilities and their specific needs are taken into account as these programs are implemented and to address the ongoing needs of the Developmental Services Sector.

About Reena
Reena promotes dignity, individuality, independence, personal growth and community inclusion for people with developmental disabilities within a framework of Jewish culture and values. Reena was established in 1973 by parents of children with developmental disabilities as a practical alternative to institutions. Since that time Reena has grown to provide support for 1,000 individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

 More information:
t: (905) 889.6484