EDMONTON—Agencies that provide support and programs for adults with developmental disabilities have over the past month had no other option but to sign contracts that cut a further $6 - 8 million from front-line services (on top of the over $10 million in cuts from last year), as the government attempts to deal with various "cost pressures" including addressing the deficit in the management pension plan.
The Minister of Seniors and Community Supports, Mary Anne Jablonski announced today that they have hired KPMG, a multinational accounting firm, to do an administrative review of the People with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) system.
"I believe it is important for the government to be transparent, accountable and very fiscally prudent - I just don't think this is what the Minister is doing with this administrative review," said Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. "This review will not solve the real issues within PDD. Instead, it would be more important to reverse the cuts that were made last December and January and again in April so that agencies can take on new clients and not cut existing programs."
The cuts mean that agency staff have had their wages frozen for the past two years, that many organizations have had to cut back services and programs to existing clients and that new people coming into the system are having a very difficult time finding the necessary supports when they turn 18.
"Our organization has been advocating for a comprehensive plan and more investments for human service issues for the past three years and we have seen far too often how organizations are afraid to speak out against the cuts due to their contractual relationship with the government," said Moore-Kilgannon.
"This is why we have reached out to citizens across Alberta through our 'Albertans Who Care' campaign to continue to speak out and challenge the government to invest in better quality care and programs for people with developmental disabilities."