This past year we witnessed something we haven’t seen in a long while in Ontario: community living associations taking collective, coordinated action to influence decision makers.
Alarmed by the staggering costs associated with legislation that would push many community living associations into massive deficits, if not to the brink of disaster, local associations across the province, under the leadership of the provincial umbrella organization Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs (OASIS), met with local MPPs and ministry bureaucrats, wrote to the Minister of Community and Social Services and the Ontario Premier and took to social media to warn about the profound consequences Bill 148 will have on individuals and their families and the level and quality of services provided by associations should funding not be provided to offset the crushing costs associated with this piece of legislation.
This campaign, along with a senior ministry bureaucracy that understood the threat this legislation posed to community living associations already under siege and operating in a service system in crisis, bore fruit. Indeed, in its 2018 budget the provincial government announced a $1.8 billion investment over three years to support developmental services, the largest one-time investment in developmental services in the province’s history.
The OASIS led campaign tells us that when we organize and unite we can affect change. The campaign was not only successful but reminded us that we continue to fight the good fight— “fighting the good fight” a phrase from the old days of the community living movement that has almost become anachronistic and that harkens back to a time when we were not shy about taking a public stance to advance a cause, defend a principle and fight for individuals and their families.
Thank you to the people we support, their families, the great team of staff who support them and our volunteers, funders and partners who make Brampton Caledon Community Living a great and vibrant organization.
Kathy Bell, President and James Triantafilou, Executive Director
Read the full Annual Report 2018