Background to Queen's Park meeting, 16 June 2003

On October 7, 2002, a group of families went to Queen's Park and held a press conference to complain about the way the Ministry of Community, Family and Children's Services treats people with disabilities. They asked for choices and options (individualized funding) and recognition as the most important stakeholders. As a result of the publicity and pressure, they had the opportunity to meet with Minister Brenda Elliott who gave them an encouraging words of response. Many of you wrote wonderful positive letters to the Minister, encouraging her to listen to families and to open the door to individualized funding.

Now, eight months later, we find ourselves no further ahead. No concrete results. The specific families that were brought to Brenda Elliott's attention on October 7 are still stuck. The bureaucracy has failed them. The people who went to the trouble of writing personal letters to Brenda received disappointing standard replies in a form letter.

This is why the families are returning to Queen's Park on Monday June 16. We will hold a press conference at 11:30 a.m.  and we hope that the Liberal Party will raise a question on our behalf in the Legislature Question Period later that day. We want to reinforce our message and to make the government accountable.

We are encouraging many families to turn out for this event to demonstrate our determination and our solidarity. I hope that we can attract some families from regions far beyond the greater Toronto area. This is important to show that the issues are the same all over Ontario, and that families are united across the province. Also, if other family networks should want to officially join in sponsoring the event, that would be very powerful.

Bring your family members along, and plan for a picnic lunch on the grounds at Queen's Park. Tell your friends. The more people come, the stronger the message. This will be also an opportunity to celebrate our vision and our kinship.

If anyone is willing and available to participate in planning and organizing (to be done by email), please let me know. There is not much time left, but we know what to do! We want to make sure we cover the issues that are important to YOU!

Even though Peel Family Network booked the event, I want to emphasize that it's about people all over Ontario. We suffer the same system, and we share the same issues. All for one, and one for all. Help to make this event a great success.

Please let Stan Woronko know if you can attend for all or part of Monday. I will post more information in the days ahead. Please RSVP -- let us know if you plan to come or not.
Stan Woronko for Peel Family Network sworonko@sympatico.ca