Feds announce $3mn in support for autism programs

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The federal Liberals took jabs at the Ford government as it announced its support for new projects to support people with autism.

The Liberals did not commit any new money at the Oakville, Ont., news conference, but said $3 million of a $20-million autism fund budgeted in 2018 will go toward the six initiatives. It’s part of the Trudeau government’s “autism spectrum disorder strategic fund,” which earmarks $9.1-million for community-based projects.

The pre-election announcement comes after the uproar over the Ontario Progressive Conservative government’s decision to change the autism funding model to give families a fixed amount of money determined by their income and their child’s age. After months of protests and outcry, the province backed off from its plan in July, with the social services minister acknowledging the Ford government “didn’t get the redesign right” and that they’re reverting back to a “needs-based” program.

Responding to the federal announcement, a provincial spokesperson accused the Trudeau government of playing politics ahead of the general election in October.

She said Ottawa isn’t working on a national autism strategy but is working on the “pillars” of such a plan, including information, affordability access, employment, housing and research. -CINEWS

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