ADVOCACY INFORMATION FOR FAMILIES
On behalf of the Board of TBFN and the families we support, we want to provide further context to everyone regarding our decision to join advocacy efforts about changes to the OAP program. We stand by all families, regardless of the diagnosis of their loved one, and believe that all individuals have the right to a purposeful and meaningful life of their choosing. The family movement is about choice and supports based on the needs of each individual. It is also about full consultation around the province and recognizing the unique needs of northern families. We are concerned that more change is coming from this government which may not be in the best interest of families and their loved ones. Already we know many families who are in difficult circumstances due to the hold on Special Services at Home funding. The rights of all vulnerable people must be protected and our families/loved ones must be the ones to chart a fair and sustainable system as we move forward. We are cautiously optimistic that the government has announced plans for further consultations, however believe that face to face dialogue must occur in the Northwest so families across the region have a voice at the table. This is a time for all families who have loved ones with developmental disabilities to come together and speak with a strong and united voice. The Northwest is already the most under serviced area of the province and if the example of the changes to the OAP are any indication of what is to come, we will continue to be at the mercy of southern Ontario solutions as opposed to province wide ones. We have always and will always be a voice for all families and we encourage everyone to come together and support these advocacy efforts. The stories we are hearing are heartbreaking and we will continue to encourage and support all who need us. Never forget that we are all in this together!