Coalition groups gathered at Queen’s Square in Lindsay on Saturday morning to inform the public about the impact they believe the provincial government’s cuts will have on the community.
The information session and “resistance fair” was organized by the Kawartha Citizens United group and the Lindsay District Labour Council.
“My son has very high needs. He would not be able to be here with me without me holding on to him for dear life because he does not know danger,” said Jilll Breugem, a mother, activist and member of the Ontario Autism Coalition.
Breugem said her 10-year-old son Alex is on the severe autism spectrum. Breugem currently receives about $6,000 a month to help pay for her child’s much-needed therapy. But she said that funding will be slashed to just $5,000 a year.
“He is learning so many things over the last nine to 12 months with a therapist. It will be heartbreaking when the services are pulled and his funding is done in December,” said Breugem.
Breugem was among many other activists who gathered to rally against what they say are Premier Doug Ford’s “cuts” to education, healthcare and legal aid funding.
“The goal is just to make sure that people are informed as possible about the impacts of policy decisions being made by this government,” said Colin Matthew, president of Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation.
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Members from groups including the Ontario Autism Coalition, Kawartha Lakes Health Care Coalition, and $15 and Fairness, an-anti-poverty group, were sharing their views with the public.
“The real message is these cuts hurt everyone, and they’re not good for the province, not good for the people in the province and not good for the province economically,” said activist and founder of Kawartha Citizens United Group, Sharon Robbins.
As for Breugem, she hopes something is changed soon.
“The next step for us once the funding is pulled is we will have to sell our home and there are parents that don’t even have a home to sell, but we will sell our home, take what we can so that he can continue therapy,” said Breugem.
Organizers said they hope to coordinate events like this one in the near future.