A St. Albert organization is spearheading a protest against the Redford government’s plans to change how programs for persons with developmental disabilities (PDD) are funded.
The Lo-Se-Ca Foundation, contracted to provide certain PDD programs in St. Albert, is organizing the rally at the legislature this coming Friday, said executive director Marie Renaud. Renaud said the government’s plan to cut from PDD funding will have serious negative effects on Alberta.
“In the short term, they’re going to be huge,” said Renaud Monday.
The rally will be the second this month by PDD supporters, who demonstrated at the legislature May 15.
Renaud said a provincial government manager verbally instructed her to cut $600,000 form her budget, but she has yet to receive anything in writing about it. Also, she was to inform the government by July 1 what she had decided to cut. So Renaud has decided not to make the cuts.
“That’s why I’m not doing it,” she said.
When asked what effect that would have on her, she answered, “Well, I guess we’ll find out pretty quickly.”
She said service providers in the PDD world are not happy with the way this has been handled, and that’s one of the reasons for the rally Friday. She said, for example, Lo-Se-Ca signed a contract with the provincial government in good faith but when she raised this point with a provincial government employee, she was told the government will just terminate the contract.
The rally, to coincide with another in Calgary, will begin at 12 noon. It will feature guest speakers from St. Albert, a family with a member who is a person with a disability, MLAs and others.
Renaud said Lo-Se-Ca wants to get the word out about how these PDD cuts affect people with developmental disabilities, and how it will affect their families and other people connected to them.
“Just to let them know, people need to understand this,” she said. “Communities are going to feel this.”