BC Liberals say NDP must reverse decision to end direct autism funding

THE  BC Liberals on Monday called on the NDP government to reverse its recent decision ​to end direct funding for children with autism by 2025, and commit to full consultation with parents and service providers in the autism community.

“It’s deeply unsettling that the NDP, without any consultation, is taking ​away the ability for parents to decide on care for their children,” said Karin Kirkpatrick, BC Liberal Critic for Children, Family Development and Childcare. “The NDP’s callous announcement is taking our province backwards from being a leader in autism care. Phasing out individualized funding will only create another waitlist, making families compete against one another for resources and services in a system they are already struggling with.”

Thousands of people have signed an online petition calling for the government to develop a fair and transparent plan, ​and to keep individual​ized autism funding program in place.

“Families are scared ​for their future and angry ​with this NDP government, which thinks it know​s better and is ignoring the voices of people with direct experience in autism care,” said Kirkpatrick. “It’s unacceptable that not one autism organization was involved in the decision-making process. Instead of creating chaos and confusion with its top-down approach, the NDP minister needs to show some respect to B.C. families and carry out a full consultation. These marginalized families can’t afford further disruption by ​this government and its funding cut​s.”