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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:29 am
 


Hundreds protest cuts to programs for disabled.


Tony Goodison made a mug in one of his art classes that he planned to give to Premier Alison Redford one day.

But as he stood with nearly 300 demonstrators protesting cuts to Persons with Developmental Disabilities programs outside Redford’s Calgary office on Friday morning, Goodison said he’d reconsidered.

“I’m not going to give it to her,” said Goodison, a 49-year-old PDD beneficiary holding a sign showing his face, captioned: “TG needs the support of a caring home and In-Definite Arts.”

In-Definite Arts is a non-profit agency for the developmentally disabled that helps them create, show and sell artwork — the type of program that’s potentially affected by cuts to community access programs under the PDD umbrella.

It’s estimated there are approximately 10,000 Albertans who receive PDD supports, with about 2,700 in the Calgary area.

Operational funding for PDD has increased to $691 million this year from $686 million last year, but the money has been redistributed internally. Approximately $39 million has been cut from community access programs, which provide volunteer and recreational opportunities for developmentally disabled people.

“What they’re doing to us is wrong,” said Goodison, who is able to work and is employed as a courtesy clerk at a grocery store.

“We’re human. We have rights.”

In Edmonton, more than 1,000 people gathered outside the Legislative Assembly over the noon hour to protest the cuts.

Redford was delivering a speech at a Calgary conference during the protest outside her office on Richard Way S.W., but addressed the controversy while speaking with reporters afterward.

“We think — and I know from discussions that I’ve had with many families and with community leaders — that there are other ways that are more effective in terms of providing those community supports for clients of PDD. I understand that people are nervous because change is always difficult,” she said.

Redford said that while she respects the agencies that provide services to PDD clients, they have to be prepared for change.

“Our commitment is to ensure that everyone who needs services gets services. It is not our commitment to ensure that we keep funding service providers, which are essentially, even as not-for-profits, businesses,” said Redford, who said there will be a new emphasis on having more money go directly to clients.

“What we’re doing is creating a different set of supports for people,” she said.

But protesters gathered outside Redford’s office said the government is not listening to their concerns.

The government has said it’s cutting back the community access programs to place a greater emphasis on employment opportunities for disabled people.

But one agency employee said community access programs provide valuable preparation for employment.

“How are they going to be comfortable working in the community if they’re not a part of the community?” asked Sharon Griffiths.

Funding cuts are expected to come into effect in July, part of larger changes to the PDD program.

Advocates of PDD clients and agencies that provide services for them have said they’re concerned about a standardized test being phased in by the government.

Critics are saying the Supports Intensity Scale doesn’t adequately address the complex needs of some clients and that the government will rely solely on test results to determine funding levels — an assertion the government refutes.

Between the cuts and the other changes, the official Opposition Wildrose party said the government is moving too quickly.

“What we’re seeing here is fear and anxiety in the face of a lack of information,” said Wildrose MLA Jeff Wilson, who attended the protest.

Wilson, a Calgary MLA whose sister is in the PDD program, said his party is calling on the government to stop the cuts until it can do more consultation and a thorough assessment of its impacts.

“When a similar transition in (U.S. state) Georgia took place, it took years,” Wilson said.

Wildrose has advocated cutting administrative costs incurred by six regional PDD boards, which a consultant’s report pegged at $45 million in 2010.

Liberal MLA David Swann also attended the rally and urged the protesters to keep up their pressure on the government.

“There is no other way to make bullies listen than to keep pushing it back in their face,” he said, addressing the crowd.


http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/alber ... story.html



Heartless vindictive bitch.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:32 am
 


"I'm Idaho!"


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:36 am
 


Gunnair Gunnair:
"I'm Idaho!"

Love the potatoes...

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:36 am
 


The same story anytime cuts take place. Cuts are difficult. Opposition is expected.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:42 am
 


OnTheIce OnTheIce:
The same story anytime cuts take place. Cuts are difficult. Opposition is expected.


As is the relentless whining about it. :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:04 am
 


Gunnair Gunnair:
OnTheIce OnTheIce:
The same story anytime cuts take place. Cuts are difficult. Opposition is expected.


As is the relentless whining about it. :lol:


It's the same story anytime any government of any political stripe tries to make changes to budgets and spending.

Most people will agree that governments need to cut spending but it's always the same story; "cut somewhere else".


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:39 am
 


Yeah, cut those developmentally disabled. Who cares about them, and they probably don't even vote. And what do they contribute to society? Nothing, that's what. They are certainly not the job givers.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:41 am
 


Amazing how so few people can chew through so much money.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:53 am
 


martin14 martin14:
Amazing how so few people can chew through so much money.

Administration, red tape, useless and/or waste spending... like everything else, very little of that money goes to the people that need it.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:00 am
 


A lot of it goes on salaries to staff who are helping these developmentally disabled. Might be a waste, might also be necessary. Just giving the people money may not be the most effective way to help them, they may need people to support them.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:07 am
 


andyt andyt:
Yeah, cut those developmentally disabled. Who cares about them, and they probably don't even vote. And what do they contribute to society? Nothing, that's what. They are certainly not the job givers.



Exactly where would you do the cuts? What programs are you willing to cut out of peoples lives?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:09 am
 


The bigger issue is that in a province where the basic background economic activity is very good and the stability of the tax base is very sound and stable, the provincial government has managed to fuck things up badly enough that cuts are even necessary at all. They also bagged half the palliative care nurses in Calgary over the last few weeks, all in the name of their blessed commitment to austerity. And we're also finding out, on the local level, that the city council in Calgary has managed to increase spending by almost 80% over the last ten years even though the city has only grown by 27% over the last decade. A handful of new interchanges to improve traffic flow aside, far too much of the money has appeared to have gone towards pet projects for left-leaning city council members and the special interests they're apparently doing most of their work for.

The jobs are good and not too many people seem to be unable to take part in the overall economy, and more people keep coming here which in turn makes the tax base even stronger. It's difficult to dispute though, that provincially and in the big cities (in Calgary anyway) Albertans are suffering through a period where our local governments are (at best) extremely mediocre. It'd be long past time for a major change but, given the incredibly poor turn-out for local and provincial elections, the hacks probably aren't going anywhere.


Last edited by Thanos on Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:10 am
 


reread the artical and guess what they are not doing any budget cuts they are just not doing as much funding for this particular program anymore.

$1:
Operational funding for PDD has increased to $691 million this year from $686 million last year, but the money has been redistributed internally. Approximately $39 million has been cut from community access programs, which provide volunteer and recreational opportunities for developmentally disabled people.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:12 pm
 


andyt andyt:
Yeah, cut those developmentally disabled. Who cares about them, and they probably don't even vote. And what do they contribute to society? Nothing, that's what. They are certainly not the job givers.


And that's what you'll hear from every sector of the government where cuts are to take place.

"Cut somewhere else".

NIMBYism at its finest.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:46 pm
 


stratos stratos:
andyt andyt:
Yeah, cut those developmentally disabled. Who cares about them, and they probably don't even vote. And what do they contribute to society? Nothing, that's what. They are certainly not the job givers.



Exactly where would you do the cuts? What programs are you willing to cut out of peoples lives?


They'd probably say the military, and then complain about how militarized the United States is and how we shouldn't rely on them so much for our defense, and how they violate our sovereignty without notice.


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