I’ve heard from several families and caregivers during this past year. Almost all families and individuals with disabilities have suffered mental breakdowns as a result of no supports and being totally forgotten by Ontario’s Ford Government. This is something that as a community leader I hear about an a daily basis. It’s bad, very bad, and extremely concerning. The disabled and those that care for them are carrying a huge amount of burden as a result of the Ontario Government’s actions to put the economy first rather than looking after our most vulnerable in an epic health crisis. The entire province is now dealing with that mistake as we’re set for some of the darkest days in Ontario’s history as a result of the utter ignorance and failure of the Ford government to prioritize human life over that of the business lobby groups and the bottom line. To be blunt, Ford doesn’t see human life – he sees the provincial cost to a life. From the Progressive Conservative caucus perspective, it’s cheaper to let people die in this pandemic than it is to put forth the full resources and supports needed to save lives.
Over the weekend the taxpayers in this province where up in arms regarding Ford’s decision to close playgrounds, and to effectively turn us into a police state, but no one is talking about your right to live if you contract COVID, and what the Ontario Government has been doing behind closed doors during this crisis. Some of which has been outlined here by Arch Disability Law Centre.
Ford’s failure to prioritize the most vulnerable in this province will cost hundreds of human lives in the weeks to come, and it will be the disabled that bare the brunt of that. As ICU’s are stretched to capacity, the Ontario Government has given the go ahead to suspend charter rights, and the due process to those who contract COVID through its triage policy. The policy will see doctors being the ones that make life or death decisions on who lives and who dies without due process. People with disabilities will be disproportionately affected by this.
I’ve written a lot about my family on this blog. I’m not going to write a lot about our situation as a result. I’m the sole caregiver for two disabled individuals. I’m the only one that can shop. I’m high risk from dying if I contract COVID. As a result, if I contract COVID and ICU capacity is overwhelmed, as part of the triage policy this government has enacted, someone else will be given access to a bed and medical help, not me. I will die from it. Accessibility to the vaccine is a huge issue for us. Our local vaccination site was recently shut down, and the nearest site is over a 30 min drive from here. We don’t have a car, and the risk of taking any transit to a vaccination site outside of an owned vehicle will put us at massive risk.
This Mr. Ford is my family. Our lives matter more than a balanced budget, or the possibility of upsetting those who financially support your party:
All the supports that we had in place prior to the pandemic expected the impossible from me. They all expected me to be my son’s teacher, occupational therapist, behaviour therapist on top of fearing for my life and regular caregiving activities. Even though we’ve been dealing with a tremendous amount of ignorance with respect to the government side of things, the ignorance displayed by non-government agencies tasked at supporting families like mine through this crisis (and their employees) is way worse. One service provider called Children’s Aid on our family as a result of asking for a break in services because I couldn’t handle the workload. Almost all service providers – at first – attempted to discharge this family rather than put our services on hold. I had to get the Government involved and threaten these service providers with a human rights lawsuit before they complied. It is not just the government that is nickel and diming human lives during this pandemic.
What I would like to do over the next several weeks, is highlight the lives that the Ford Government has put a cost to rather than treating them as human beings during this pandemic. If you are disabled or are a family dealing with a lack support over the past year, I’d like to hear from you and highlight your story on this blog to Conservative caucus members. You can e-mail me at [email protected] and please include photos with your submissions.