EDMONTON, AB (May 22, 2013): The PC government continues to add to the confusion and anxiety around the July 1 transition of key support services with more mixed messages about its plans for moving ahead with the changes, Wildrose Human Services Critic Jeff Wilson said today.
After saying it would hit pause on the controversial transition – which will see $42 million slashed out of the Persons with Developmental Disabilities supports budget – the government has backtracked, saying the transition is still scheduled for July 1. The programs affected are community access supports that helpAlbertans with disabilities take part in activities outside of their homes. Wilson said the mixed messages are only further confusing families and individuals impacted and called on Human Services Minister Dave Hancock and PDD Minister Frank Oberle to provide some much-needed clarity on what exactly the government’s plans are. “It’s pretty clear that nobody really knows what is going on here,” Wilson said. “One day we have the government saying they’re delaying, the next, it's full steam ahead. This further miscommunication is indicative of how the government has handled this file from the beginning. No wonder Albertans are terrified of what this government is planning to do with the services they rely on.” The programs on the chopping block are essential front-lines services for Albertans with disabilities, Wilson said. “These are vital to their quality of life,” Wilson said. “After saying they wouldn’t balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable, this government is going back on its word in a very callous way.”