The Canadian Politician (Toronto) – An Ontario autism group, (Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysis) is alleging that the Minister of Social Services, Lisa MacLeod, threatened it to prepare a quote of support for the new autism funding structure implemented by the Ford government. The group stated that it had very little information about the changes, but was asked to support it publicly to give the appearance of wide-spread support from key stakeholders. The group claimed the minister allegedly warned that lack of public praise will result in what she called “four long years” after it resisted pressure to support the wholesome changes.
The minister on Thursday feeling pressure from the outraged public to resign, apologized on Twitter for her threatening comments. She stated, “It has been an emotional time. Throughout this process, my focus has always been on the 23,000 children who were abandoned under the previous government’s plan. This is an issue I take very personally and I apologize if my comments made anyone feel threatened or uncomfortable.”
Among those calling for the minister to step down is the president of Ontario Public Service Employee Union (OPSEU, Warren (Smokey) Thomas who encouraged MacLeod to resign for her threatening and unacceptable behaviour. The NDP leader, Andrea Horwath was disappointed with the minister for her bullying tactics toward representative of the Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysis. Falling short of asking the minister to resign, she opined that Ontarians cannot have confidence in the minister for her threatening disposition. With glowing praises from Premier Ford, calling her “…an absolute all-star,” the minister dismissed calls to resign, calling it partisan politics. The controversial changes would provide up to $140,000 annually per child which parents and critics have stated is inadequate to manage the condition.