Connect with us


Provincial cuts leave adults with disabilities ‘hanging on a ledge’




Like too many young people on the autism spectrum, Nazarenus Rimando struggled with the transition from high school to adulthood.

After failing most of his college courses in computer repair maintenance, he retreated to the family’s Scarborough apartment, where he grew increasingly withdrawn and depressed.

Rimando’s mother Maria, who searched frantically for help between shifts at her factory job, says it “felt like watching a slow death. It was heartbreaking.”

The turning point came in the spring of 2016 when the provincial Developmental Services Office suggested the family try independent facilitation, a service that since 2015 has helped more than 1,700 young people like Rimando create a meaningful adult life.

Through independent facilitation, Rimando was able to re-enrol at Centennial College, start volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, join a local martial arts gym and even learn how to sail a tall ship.

Provincial NDP social services critic Lisa Gretsky (Windsor West), who met with families in her riding Thursday, said she is shocked Ford’s “government for the people” is abandoning such a vulnerable population.

“These families have been completely blindsided by this cut and don’t know where to go to pick up the pieces,” she said Friday.

“People with developmental disabilities want to be part of society just like everybody else,” she said in an interview. “And we need to make sure, as legislators, we are making decisions that are empowering them to be able to do that.”

Before the Rimandos met facilitator Joanne Wilson, Maria says her son was “just a shell.”

“Now, he has someone he can trust. And who I can trust too. I can really see the growth. He’s becoming a better person,” she says.

Rimando, 24, also feels the difference.

“I was stranded. I didn’t know where to go,” he says. “Joanne gave me the direction I needed … If the government is going to completely cut this fund, I will be left hanging on a ledge or worse. I may even topple down.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services said the “time-limited project” has run its course and that an independent evaluation by the previous government concluded its benefits were not demonstrably different than services and supports offered by community agencies.

Those who want to continue using independent facilitation can use Passport funding, a provincial program that provides money to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to pay for respite and personal support in the community, said Graeme Dempster.

But advocates say the government’s evaluation was seriously flawed. As for using Passport funding, they say it isn’t a viable option because more than 16,000 individuals, including the Rimandos, are on the wait list. And those who get Passport funding say it’s not enough to cover services as well as independent facilitation, advocates add.

Life is full of transitions, but the passage from adolescence to adulthood is arguably the most difficult, says Judith McGill, a Toronto social worker who has been helping individuals with developmental disabilities and their families navigate the journey for more than 20 years. With provincial funding, McGill’s organization, Families for a Secure Future, has been able to train and mentor eight facilitators who support the Rimandos and 220 others in Toronto, Guelph, Peel, Halton and Durham.

For young people with developmental disabilities such as autism or Down syndrome, becoming an adult too often means moving from high school to their parents’ basement, segregated day programs or group homes.

Admission to psychiatric wards, long term care and even homeless shelters are common — and costly — responses when things go wrong.

Independent facilitation was beginning to change that trajectory, McGill says.

“Individuals with developmental disabilities yearn to find places in the world where they belong and can make a contribution,” McGill says. “They have the right to take up their citizenship and be supported to fully participate in life alongside others in their community.”

Unlike other “person-directed planning models” for people with developmental disabilities, independent facilitation is truly independent, she says. It does not offer residential or day services, nor does it manage or oversee an individual’s provincial funding, assessment, eligibility or service provision.

Instead, facilitators are problem-solvers and “community connectors” who “walk alongside people as they begin envisioning and making changes in their lives,” she says.

“We help people find their voice after years of having parents, teachers and professionals speak for them,” McGill says. “We help them explore their gifts and talents. And then we help people put them into action.”

Parents unable to manage or co-ordinate their adult son or daughter’s daily life believe the only options are day programs, which cost as much as $35,000 a year, or residential care, that typically runs at $140,000 annually, McGill says.

Independent facilitators, however, work with individuals to discover their dreams, interests and goals and connect them with much less costly community resources.

Since Ontario began funding independent facilitation as a demonstration project in 2015, seven such organizations in Ottawa and southern Ontario have helped 458 people plan to move out of the family home into more independent living arrangements. They facilitated 879 transitions from high school to post-secondary education and other adult roles, and helped 266 establish community support networks.

Over three years, the demonstration project has helped young adults with developmental disabilities establish, enhance or sustain more than 2,100 jobs, volunteer positions or meaningful leisure roles in the community, according to the Ontario Independent Facilitation Network.

Independent facilitation also supports families as their children move through different life stages. And it helps parents prepare for their children to be supported when they are no longer around by helping them maintain relationships with extended family and friends, and develop meaningful connections to people in their neighbourhood and broader community.

“It keeps them out of crisis, which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars,” McGill says. “Walking away from 1,354 people we are currently working with is tantamount to throwing away millions and millions of dollars.”

For Rimando, “expressing things is sometimes a hill you have to climb.”

But he is determined to tell anyone who will listen how his life has changed with his facilitator’s help.

“I always wanted to achieve something … that recognizes me not as an autistic person who has this disability and drawbacks, but recognizes me as a person who can overcome these drawbacks.”

“If this funding is cut and the program shuts down, there is no way for me to move forward,” he says. “I won’t know what to do next.”

Laurie Monsebraaten is a Toronto-based reporter covering social justice. Follow her on Twitter: @lmonseb


Source link

قالب وردپرس


‘Business as usual’ for Dorel Industries after terminating go-private deal




MONTREAL — Dorel Industries Inc. says it will continue to pursue its business strategy going forward after terminating an agreement to go private after discussions with shareholders.

« Moving ahead. Business as usual, » a spokesman for the company said in an email on Monday.

A group led by Cerberus Capital Management had previously agreed to buy outstanding shares of Dorel for $16 apiece, except for shares owned by the family that controls the company’s multiple-voting shares.

But Dorel chief executive Martin Schwartz said the Montreal-based maker of car seats, strollers, bicycles and home furniture pulled the plug on a deal on the eve of Tuesday’s special meeting after reviewing votes from shareholders.

“Independent shareholders have clearly expressed their confidence in Dorel’s future and the greater potential for Dorel as a public entity, » he said in a news release.

Dorel’s board of directors, with Martin Schwartz, Alan Schwartz, Jeffrey Schwartz and Jeff Segel recused, unanimously approved the deal’s termination upon the recommendation of a special committee.

The transaction required approval by two-thirds of the votes cast, and more than 50 per cent of the votes cast by non-family shareholders.

Schwartz said enhancing shareholder value remains a top priority while it stays focused on growing its brands, which include Schwinn and Mongoose bikes, Safety 1st-brand car seats and DHP Furniture.

Dorel said the move to end the go-private deal was mutual, despite the funds’ increased purchase price offer earlier this year.

It said there is no break fee applicable in this case.

Montreal-based investment firm Letko, Brosseau & Associates Inc. and San Diego’s Brandes Investment Partners LP, which together control more than 19 per cent of Dorel’s outstanding class B subordinate shares voiced their opposition to the amended offer, which was increased from the initial Nov. 2 offer of $14.50 per share.

« We believe that several minority shareholders shared our opinion, » said Letko vice-president Stephane Lebrun, during a phone interview.

« We are confident of the long-term potential of the company and we have confidence in the managers in place.”

Continue Reading


Pandemic funds helping Montreal businesses build for a better tomorrow




Many entrepreneurs have had to tap into government loans during the pandemic, at first just to survive, but now some are using the money to better prepare their businesses for the post-COVID future.

One of those businesses is Del Friscos, a popular family restaurant in Dollard-des-Ormeaux that, like many Montreal-area restaurants, has had to adapt from a sit-down establishment to one that takes orders online for takeout or delivery.

“It was hard going from totally in-house seating,” said Del Friscos co-owner Terry Konstas. “We didn’t have an in-house delivery system, which we quickly added. There were so many of our employees that were laid off that wanted to work so we adapted to a delivery system and added platforms like Uber and DoorDash.”

Helping them through the transition were emergency grants and low-interest loans from the federal and provincial governments, some of which are directly administered by PME MTL, a non-profit business-development organization established to assist the island’s small and medium-sized businesses.

Konstas said he had never even heard of PME MTL until a customer told him about them and when he got in touch, he discovered there were many government programs available to help his business get through the downturn and build for the future. “They’ve been very helpful right from day one,” said Konstas.

“We used some of the funds to catch up on our suppliers and our rents, the part that wasn’t covered from the federal side, and we used some of it for our new virtual concepts,” he said, referring to a virtual kitchen model which the restaurant has since adopted.

The virtual kitchen lets them create completely different menu items from the casual American Italian dishes that Del Friscos is known for and market them under different restaurant brand names. Under the Prasinó Soup & Salad banner, they sell healthy Greek options and their Stallone’s Sub Shop brand offers hearty sandwiches, yet the food from both is created in the same Del Friscos kitchen.

Continue Reading


Downtown Montreal office, retail vacancies continue to rise




Some of downtown Montreal’s key economic indicators are heading in the wrong direction.

Office and retail vacancies in the city’s central core continued to climb in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to a quarterly report released Thursday by the Urban Development Institute of Quebec and the Montréal Centre-Ville merchants association. The report, whose first edition was published in October, aims to paint a socio-economic picture of the downtown area.

The survey also found office space available for sublet had increased during the fourth quarter, which may foreshadow even more vacancies when leases expire. On the residential front, condo sales fell as new listings soared — a sign that the downtown area may be losing some of its appeal to homeowners.

“It’s impossible not to be preoccupied by the rapid increase in office vacancies,” Jean-Marc Fournier, the former Quebec politician who now heads the UDI, said Thursday in an interview.

Still, with COVID-19 vaccinations set to accelerate in the coming months, “the economic picture is bound to improve,” he said. “People will start returning downtown. It’s much too early to say the office market is going to disappear.”

Public health measures implemented since the start of the pandemic almost a year ago — such as caps on office capacity — have deprived downtown Montreal of more than 500,000 workers and students. A mere 4,163 university and CEGEP students attended in-person classes in the second quarter, the most recent period for which figures are available. Border closures and travel restrictions have also brought tourism to a standstill, hurting hotels and thousands of local businesses.

Seventy per cent of downtown workers carried out their professional activities at home more than three days a week during the fourth quarter, the report said, citing an online survey of 1,000 Montreal-area residents conducted last month.

Continue Reading


Affaires5 jours ago

Prudence avec le passeport vaccinal

Affaires5 jours ago

Le secteur touristique autochtone s’attendait à beaucoup plus du budget fédéral

Affaires5 jours ago

La fintech canadienne Mogo ajoute 146 autres Ethereum à son portefeuille de crypto

Affaires5 jours ago

Les entreprises canadiennes estiment que l’épuisement professionnel nuira au résultat net des entreprises cette année, selon une nouvelle étude de Sage au Canada

Affaires5 jours ago

Chaire de recherche du Canada sur les matériaux de construction multifonctionnels durables

Affaires5 jours ago

Les Canadiens seront vaccinés

Affaires5 jours ago

Samsung Canada et Tim Hortons poursuivent la transformation numérique des services au volant en prévoyant la mise en place de 2 600 écrans extérieurs dans tout le Canada d’ici la fin de 2021.

Affaires5 jours ago

Le Canada mise sur le nucléaire pour réduire les GES

Affaires5 jours ago

Les mesures sanitaires font reculer les ventes de Tim Hortons

Affaires5 jours ago

L’Université de Montréal a caché un laboratoire nucléaire pendant la guerre

Affaires5 jours ago

Économie : les postes vacants coûtent 8 M $ par jour au secteur de la transformation alimentaire

Opinions5 jours ago

J’ai peur du projet de loi 59

Opinions5 jours ago

La protection de nos enfants, c’est aussi l’affaire du municipal

Opinions5 jours ago

Crise du logement : le Parti libéral du Québec en mode solutions

Opinions5 jours ago

Des témoins condamnent le comportement de certains députés envers elles

Opinions5 jours ago

Québec solidaire demande à ses membres de se prononcer sur une faction du parti

Opinions5 jours ago

Chevaliers de la «libarté»

Opinions5 jours ago

Se taire ou faire usage de sa liberté d’expression citoyenne?

Opinions5 jours ago

Contrer les féminicides: de la considération à la préoccupation!

Actualités1 semaine ago

Des normes pour l’industrie de l’ÉPI demandées

Anglais3 années ago

Body found after downtown Lethbridge apartment building fire, police investigating – Lethbridge

Styles De Vie3 années ago

Salon du chocolat 2018: les 5 temps forts

Anglais2 années ago

This B.C. woman’s recipe is one of the most popular of all time — and the story behind it is bananas

Santé Et Nutrition3 années ago

Gluten-Free Muffins

Anglais2 années ago

27 CP Rail cars derail near Lake Louise, Alta.

Anglais2 années ago

Man facing eviction from family home on Toronto Islands gets reprieve — for now

Santé Et Nutrition2 années ago

We Try Kin Euphorics and How to REALLY Get the Glow | Healthyish

Anglais2 années ago

Ontario’s Tories hope Ryan Gosling video will keep supporters from breaking up with the party

Anglais2 années ago

A photo taken on Toronto’s Corso Italia 49 years ago became a family legend. No one saw it — until now

Anglais3 années ago

Condo developer Thomas Liu — who collected millions but hasn’t built anything — loses court fight with Town of Ajax

Styles De Vie3 années ago

Renaud Capuçon, rédacteur en chef du Figaroscope

Anglais2 années ago

This couple shares a 335-square-foot micro condo on Queen St. — and loves it

Mode2 années ago

Paris : chez Cécile Roederer co-fondatrice de Smallable

Anglais2 années ago

Ontario Tories argue Trudeau’s carbon plan is ‘unconstitutional’

Styles De Vie2 années ago

Ford Ranger Raptor, le pick-up roule des mécaniques

Affaires2 années ago

Le Forex devient de plus en plus accessible aux débutants

Anglais3 années ago

100 years later, Montreal’s Black Watch regiment returns to Wallers, France

Technologie2 années ago

YouTube recommande de la pornographie juvénile, allègue un internaute

Anglais2 années ago

Trudeau government would reject Jason Kenney, taxpayers group in carbon tax court fight

Anglais2 années ago

Province’s push for private funding, additional stops puts Scarborough subway at risk of delays