About 20 Montreal parents and and their children gathered outside the office of Quebec’s youth protection and public health minister, Lucie Charlebois, to protest the lack of access to support for kids with autism.
They were demanding the province provide better access to speech therapy and other forms of support for children and youth within the autism spectrum.
“Can you hear us now, Quebec?” asked Samuel Kuhn, the father of seven-year-old Charlotte, who was recently kicked off the waiting list to receive government-subsidized speech therapy.
Since learning the news, Kuhn has been protesting outside of Charlebois’ office every day for about a month.
“We have doubled our numbers since the 20th of last month,” Kuhn said, referring to the number of protesters joining the parents’ push for services.
“I have hope again. I’m inspired by this crowd of people. It tells me that we can win this fight.”
Quebec health minister Gaétan Barrette promised that access to services will soon improve for children like Charlotte Kuhn, but the family claims the government is playing “cruel games” for political gain, to make it seem that waiting lists are getting shorter.
“For so long we have been isolated, alone and ignored,” Kuhn said.
“We’re facing a crisis.”
— With files from Anne Leclair