CALGARY – Hundreds of Calgarians with disabilities and their supporters gathered at Olympic Plaza on Friday.
The get-together was part of an annual celebration called “Speak Out” – which is held as a chance for persons with disabilities to recognize their quality of life.
Despite the usually upbeat nature of the congregation, this year the tone became more cautionary as participants turned their focus to $42 million in provincial funding cuts to programs for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD).
The cuts were announced in the provincial budget, and were originally thought to go into place on July 1st.
However, the province now says it will be taking its time to implementing the changes.
The planned cuts have alarmed many people, who argue it will put vulnerable Albertans at risk.
Calgarians with disabilities have previously held several rallies to voice their concern.
The government has said the programs aren’t functioning the way they should, and instead they wish to move toward a ‘support need level’ delivery mode.