Posts Tagged ONpoli

Refusal To Regulate Regional Autism Centres Has Opened The Door To Lawsuits

 

The Minister of Children and Youth Services Michael Coteau has actively refused to bring in regulation of the provinces regional autism centers despite major issues being reported to the government regarding the behaviors of these regional service providers.  I’ve heard significant issues over the past few months with respect to the roll out of the new Ontario Autism Program and the lack of compliance with ministerial guidelines by these providers in which the Minister himself stated was an issue in a town hall last May.

The issues right now are with respect to wait list management in which is the responsibility of these regional centres, and adherence to new OAP guidelines. The Ministry has stated it will be providing regulations regarding how private autism centres are administered, however Coteau in a townhall with parents last May rejected the claim that regulations were needed on the regional centres because “some people are happy” despite admitting frustration that these centres were not adhering to guidelines.  This decision to not regulate the regional autism centres may have opened the door to massive legal liability on the province moving forward.

I’ve written a lot on this blog about autism and our long battle to get service for my son, which has come at great cost to all in our family.  While doing this I’ve been making a legal case directly to the Ministry regarding the need for regulation of the regional autism centres. That appears to have fallen on deaf ears. With less than a week away from the election writ dropping, there has been no legislative movement on the file.  I recently commented on social media about the case we made to the Ministry with the hopes that it might assist others legally going forward. We are now getting service through our regional provider.  Here is that conversation:

JK (me): “The implementation committee rejected calls for legislation to regulate the regional centers. I have the Minister on tape with respect to that, and even acknowledging the fact that these regional centres do not follow ministerial guidelines. It’s the ministry’s legal responsibility as the legislative body to oversee these centres. The minister is also on record that these regional centres HAVE to provide you with your place in line when asked, and an estimate as to when you are expected to get service.

In short those that are on the implementation committee who rejected regulating the regionals hoping a direct funding option would cure any bad behavior, opened up the government to substantial legal liability. The government can’t distance itself from the behaviors of the regionals because they’ve openly admitted there are problems, and have actively refused to legislate a solution.

Statute of limitations for all of this began May of last year with the admission from Minister in the first pilot teleconference. Families experiencing problems now, have one more year to file with the Superior Court of Justice. There may not be any limitations on the Human Rights Tribunal since the problem is ongoing.”

Link to the May 2017 Townhall is here:

https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21ANRZ77MT4n3vltg&id=47BE96EF78FE2F05%212481&cid=47BE96EF78FE2F05

MB: “The ministry has successfully argued before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal that the government is not responsible for the service delivery of the AIP. We are just on of many other programs the province claims ownership of but the reality is there is no oversight over any programs.

The MCYS has allowed children’s aid at at with impunity for years. And the youth justice system under the MCYS doez what exactly?

It was public embarrassment that lead to the current charges, nothing more. The only way to affect change is through public awareness.”

JK: “Yes they have successfully argued that they are not responsible in the past, however these cases didn’t include an admission from the Minister and government directly of the problems, and admittedly walking back on regulation because “some people are happy”. We also had several phone calls recorded from our regional provider, blatantly disregarding ministerial guidelines, and treating us as hostile.

I would also add, after we slapped this on the Ministry, the Ministry essentially took over, and is currently overseeing progression of our file with the regional provider ensuring service delivery. I’ve been in consistent contact with the Ministry regarding service delivery since November. They’ve been working along side the regional ensuring we are properly supported.

MB: “I have an email from the ministry asking about accountability. They avoided answering the question.

I used this example: as a feberal employee i am responsible for my actions with the public. My employer, the federal government is accountable for my actions. They will not admit accountability.”

JK: “Of course they aren’t going to blatantly admit it. They are currently trying to duck liability. You don’t need them to admit it. The minister already has.

Coteau is on record stating the the Ministry is accountable. Not only did he state that in the teletownhall in May last year, but prior to that he reaffirmed that position here:

“Parents have long complained about red tape, miscommunication and inconsistencies when dealing with the regional centres. The minister said he has heard from families who say they’ve been pressured to choose services run by those centres instead of the direct funding option they prefer, which would allow them to arrange and pay for their own therapist and treatment schedule.

Many say they’ve been told by the centres that choosing direct funding will mean waiting at least a year longer for treatment, he said.

“To me, that’s unacceptable. We need to hold systems accountable,” he said. “When you have so many people complaining about a particular system, the status quo cannot be maintained.””

https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2016/10/11/massive-change-needed-in-autism-services-minister-says.html

^^ He assumed liability with these statements in the Star. Couple that with an admission that the regionals are disregarding ministerial guidelines,  a walk back on regulation in the teletownhall in May, and they can’t distance themselves from it. After the first teletownhall in May last year, all the questions were screened and Coteau stuck to talking points, for this very reason. We got him off script in the May teletownhall. He screwed up royally. They need to regulate. It’ll be up to next government to deal this with now. In the meantime that’s the door to walk through.

One final point and the reason why I’m coming forward in a public way now on this, is because the election writ drops next week. So unless the Ministry drops legislation in to fix it and passes third reading in the next 3 or 4 business days, this door will be open for a while for others to walk through.”

If any of you have any further questions you can e-mail me at jkobopoli at rogers dot com

Jason Koblovsky

 

 

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Poll Trend Shows PCs Steady Decline Since Patrick Brown Was Ousted

A new poll from Forum Research shows a downward trend for the Ontario PC’s since the Patrick Brown resigned as party leader in January. It’s been long suspected that the far right social conservative movement in the party is to blame for putting pressure on Brown to resign. The poll also seems to suggest that there is an uptick in support for the Wynne Liberal’s as disenfranchised progressives from the PC party seem to be correlating around the Liberal’s election platform. This spells bad news for the current PC party leader Doug Ford because if an election were to be held today, he would win, but not with a majority mandate from voters and he doesn’t seem to be connecting with the majority of voters in the province a few months out from a general election.

 

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Doug Ford Wins Ontario PC Leadership With Chants of MOGA

Trumpism has come to Ontario. The highly unpopular movement in the US fueled by social conservatives has reared its head in Ontario politics last night when controversial PC leadership candidate Doug Ford won the Progressive Conservative leadership amidst social media chants of Make Ontario Great Again (MOGA which is ripped from Trump’s Make America Great Again). As the US deals with its social conservative hangover ours in Ontario may just be getting started.

Ford has indicated that he is willing to re-open the abortion debate in Ontario, cut the public service in order to pay for ripping up cap and trade, attacking the working poor by promising to roll back a minimum wage increase, and has in the past compared parents of disabled children to terrorists. Make no mistake, this election in Ontario is about to get very divisive, especially on social media, which is right out of Trump’s play book. Ford can’t move the party to the center, or even the center right without losing the support of his base, so in order to try and secure a path to victory he will bring in wedge issues and try and win the next election by dividing the electorate – the same path Trump took in order to secure his victory – but will it work in Ontario. Probably not.

The one thing that MOGA supporters need to understand is that Trump didn’t win the election by dividing the electorate. Hillary Clinton lost because the left went to Bernie Sanders. Our politics is different than the US. Unlike the US which has 2 major parties, we have 3 and one the NDP that supports Sander’s values which were highly popular in the US. Had the US election been between Trump and Sanders, Sanders would have won by a landslide. Trump’s win in the US has been grossly misunderstood by the MOGA crowd here in Ontario as a coming out moment for social conservatives. Social conservatives feel empowered by Trump’s win because they finally believe they are making inroads into mainstream politics. That doesn’t appear to be the case at all.

The left vote is not likely to split in June which is what Ford would need to secure a victory here in Ontario. The Liberals are so unpopular that the protest vote on the left will likely go to the NDP. Since Ford’s win, I’ve seen a number of PC party faithful suggest they would also be moving their vote to the NDP in June. Ontario has no appetite for Trump north, nor the divisive politics of social conservatism at a time of great economic and global uncertainty. Remember Walkerton? We’ve been watching Trump from north of the boarder and the majority don’t like what they see.

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Brown Out In Ontario PC Leadership Race And Recap Thus Far

Patrick Brown decided today that he was ending his candidacy for the Ontario PC Leadership race due to death threats and harassment his family received, and also due to his mother apparently being hospitalized because she can’t handle the stress of her son’s public life. This abrupt end to Brown comes on the heels that the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario announcing he would be investigating Brown’s finances, and a report by the Toronto Star in which the Star obtained e-mails that appear to show Brown’s intent in getting a favorable outcome in a nomination riding that is currently under investigation by law enforcement.

The mic drop on this whole month long Brown fiasco, came from podcaster and political pundit Jen Gerson who pushed back on Brown’s earlier comments that his female accusers from a month ago in the CTV news story should get in contact with Barrie Police:

We here at Mind Bending Politics have been following the Ontario PC Leadership race closely over the past month.  Here’s a quick summery of this unprecedented race and where each leadership candidate stands on their platforms and issues:

Patrick Brown: I’m out, no I mean I’m in.  I’m the only one with a platform, and I’m popular.  Aaaaaaand…I’m out!

Caroline Mulroney: Elect me because I’m not Wynne. Hockey equipment is more important than hydro, because not everyone can afford hockey equipment for their kids like me!

Christine Elliot: I’m a steady hand.  I want to stick it to Trudeau over carbon taxes and I’m willing to spend millions of your hard earn tax payer dollars to fight a legal battle we can’t win, but it’ll look good on me so why not. Hey don’t look over there, look at my steady hands. Steady hands remember, steady hands.

Doug Ford: I’m not my brother.  I don’t do the crack, and I promise I will run the province from my mother’s basement. On the plus side, the Queen’s Park press pool can have free access to my Xbox and games during my press conferences, and mom will bring down the pop and chips. As of July 1st free joints on the house!

Tanya Granic Allen: I really, really don’t like anal sex and Nazis. But I really love caffeine, and I’m not winning over people with this?  Maybe I’ll have a better chance at roll up the rim. Yeah, yeah caffeine it is!

For those of you who think the above is being too sarcastic. Not so much. #SendPositiveThoughts2Ontario

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Has The Ontario PC Party Opened Up a Pandora’s Box With Brown?

Since the Patrick Brown scandal broke on CTV, there are a lot of unanswered questions about the allegations surrounding Brown’s accusers of sexual misconduct, to the role both the party and the reporting by CTV News played in Brown’s freefall as leader of the Ontario PC party. In a two part interview with Global TV which played out over two days, Brown blasted CTV News for its reporting on the scandal calling it utterly false. Brown also dropped a bombshell stating that he didn’t authorize his own resignation. Toronto’s CityTV was pushed out of the PC’s offices in Queen’s Park when asking for proof of Brown’s resignation. Combine that with a leadership race in which all leaders are willing to throw out the party platform to take a much less progressive direction in their bid to wow voters, and we start to see a pandora’s box opening up on the Ontario PC Party.

Brown stated in his interview with Global that he has a lot of political foes inside and outside the party that could have set this all up and that CTV didn’t do their due diligence in its reporting on the matter. From following this story closely over the past few weeks, there has been several news organizations trying to verify CTV’s reporting on the allegations and have not been able to verify CTV’s reports on Brown’s sexual misconduct. Eventually the media themselves have raised questions on CTV’s reporting on the allegations. Then it was revealed that witnesses to the events CTV reported on had a different take on what had transpired were ignored. Brown has threatened legal action on CTV News.

When listening to the PC leadership debates, it’s quite clear that all of the proposed candidates are way more right than Brown. Leadership hopeful Christine Elliot even suggesting that the province needs to privatize autism services in Ontario. This would be a front to the privatization of health care in this province and representative of far right wing ideology. Full disclosure I have a child with autism. This approach would mean that needed therapy and supports would be out of our reach financially. While the federal conservatives argued against due process with respect to Omar Khadr, and that the financial pay Khadr received should have gone to kids with autism, I’m really curious to know as a parent with a child who has autism, what the federal conservatives think with respect to Elliot’s suggestion of privatization, and what they think on due process for Brown.

What seems to have transpired is that this inside hit job on Brown could be best described as the right wing of the party going after the progressives. If that is the case, than we can expect to sit back and watch this party plunge itself into civil war prior to an election and there’s a lot of indication that’s going to happen in the weeks ahead. There are indications that the voters of Ontario may have shifted from a traditional right of center voting intentions to left of center lead by the millennials. Brown represented that shift with a much more progressive direction he wanted to take the province in. If the party’s shift is to the right, it’s going to be very difficult to not just win the next election, but if civil war breaks out in the party it’s going to be near impossible for the party to win opposition let alone form government.

Whatever the case maybe, the public is owed an explanation and transparency by the party prior to any new leader taking over so that voters of this province can make an informed choice moving forward.

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Political Coup and The Dangers of Knee Jerk Reactions to Unproven Allegations

Former Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown Faces Unproven Allegations of Misconduct

Like many when I first heard the news about the allegations made against Patrick Brown, I jumped on the bandwagon. My first thought was how disgusting a man he is, but when I actually saw the reports and those who have launched the allegations against Brown speak; I was so shocked not to hear any accusations of criminal wrongdoing. I was expecting something similar to Jian Ghomeshi and reports of sexual violence. No we didn’t hear that at all, instead we heard from two women whose identities were masked and allegations of feeling uncomfortable around Brown after a night of partying and admittedly voiced their concerns to Brown, and Brown took them home. By no means were these allegations of rape or sexual violence. Barrie police have indicated they are not following through with an investigation.

The PC Party moved swiftly to remove Brown within a matter of hours after these allegations came to light. I’ve reported on this blog, and have heard from several sources previously that many in the PC party thought Brown would lose the next election. He wasn’t popular with the public; in fact many across the province didn’t know who he was until last week when these allegations came to light. He was also not popular in the party for being too left leaning. The speed in which the PC party moved was also a red flag. The following day caucus members held a press conference which seemed very hastily done, which also raised my concerned. The events that followed that caucus press conference, seems to strongly suggest a party coup:

The accusations being made anonymously are around misconduct, not criminal activity but the accusations are being treated as criminal in the court of public opinion.

CTV reported they had two more women who have come forward regarding allegations of misconduct against Brown, but what was reported was third party hearsay:

https://twitter.com/jkobopoli/status/956745762703994880

https://twitter.com/jkobopoli/status/956745808765861889

We had Lisa MacLeod trying to take out the executive of the party before walking into a caucus meeting trying to position herself for leadership contention:

https://twitter.com/CBCAlerts/status/956899056701378560

https://twitter.com/JeremyHall1986/status/956935163484819457

Only to backtrack after a leader was appointed:

https://twitter.com/sandragionas/status/956944267133546497

Then we had an appointed interim leader spar off with the press over the term “leader”

https://twitter.com/blakeoliver13/status/956955070981181440

We then have the caucus’s decision overturned by the party for an election.

https://twitter.com/KrisReports/status/957012676907061248

This all seems to point to MacLeod at present possibly Fedeli as well.

I’m not at all trying to discredit what’s being alleged by the women who came forward, but we need a balance so that women aren’t afraid to speak out but at the same time we don’t end up with knee jerk reactions and convictions in the court of public opinion based on hearsay. By the time these allegations hit social media, the damage is done, and very hard to recover from if these allegations prove to be false.  There’s also a national security risk tied to this as well.

Global adversaries infiltrated the black lives matter movement, during the US election last year. If adversaries see politicians being taken down on anonymous allegations of “misconduct”, that has the very high potential of effecting our political landscape to their own advantage. I don’t know what the answers are but the past 48 hours aren’t it. I also don’t think Fedeli should be allowed to run a leadership contention either. Intern leaders have an unfair edge over the others.

There is a very real chance that the #metoo movement in Canada could have the opposite effect on Canadian women that it intends. Accusers should not be not judge, jury and executioners. There is a danger that false accusations could arise, and innocent lives destroyed. Some say, that’s justice to all the harm women have endured under powerful man, however what’s more likely to happen is as we go through this movement, employers may look upon women as too risky to hire because any accusation ejected onto social media with complete disregard for facts, and based on rumor and gossip can ruin a person in a matter of seconds. Basing allegations on hearsay could also mean that women are also subjected to false accusations of professional misconduct as well, which is something Green Party Elizabeth May is currently dealing with.

A plan to move forward must treat each party equally and with respect for the law, and with respect to each party’s rights under law. The right to speak out and the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty must be upheld. Without this very basic concept of human rights, we risk descending into chaos, with real world repercussions on all of our security and will set back gains made for decades in civil rights, and equality. We are a nation of laws. We must decide if we plan on keeping it that way.

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Ontario NDP Digs Huge Hole With Millennial Vote Over College Strike

(Andrea Horwath Looks Tone Deaf on Biggest Voting Demographic)

The decision by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to order striking college workers back to work was a decision that was based purely on politics geared towards getting the millennial vote ahead of provincial election.  Wynne has seemingly backed the Ontario NDP into a corner on their union values, as the NDP fights back to stall back to work legislation.  It’s an interesting position, considering Ontario students have long suffered under Liberal rule as a result of educational unions, and lack of oversight in the public educational sector for well over a decade.  A lot of the banter between both the Liberals and NDP has less to do with Ontario’s students, and more to do with the millennial vote.

The NDP had all the time needed over the past decade to bring up serious concerns of Ontario students, that being the lack of supports and oversight in our public education system on special needs students, the lack of compliance with human and charter rights of students in the system,  and the fact that many students attending college and university can’t even afford rent let alone pay for classes they haven’t received as a result of this strike. Instead the NDP decided to die on a hill of its traditional values of workers’ rights.  As the leader of Ontario’s NDP party Andrea Horwath put it in the Ontario legislature today regarding standing up for their party’s values for Ontario workers over Ontario’s students:

“We do it before an election, and we do it after an election”

Horwath went on to read a letter from a Niagara College student regarding how this student felt about workers’ rights and how the NDP should stand up against back to work legislation.  I attended Niagara College myself for journalism back in the 90’s where our professors and staff were also threatening a strike at that time.  Thankfully a strike was averted; however had any strike been applied during my studies I would want to be compensated for that by the college. Nowhere in Horwath’s speech today or even from the Liberals has there been any talk of compensation for lost time in class as a result of this strike (which includes not just tuition but living expenses), and the rights of students to seek such compensation.

While Horwath’s speech focused in on the rights of college professors to earn a living, the rights of students to simply live with a roof over their head, and food on the table seemed to have been grossly disregarded.  With the biggest voting demographic now up for grabs, will the Ontario NDP’s traditional values line up with those who out number financial donors to the party, and whether or not the Ontario NDP just shot itself in the foot with the millennials as a result of being completely tone deaf to the biggest voting demographic in Ontario.  Wynne may be playing politics with respect to this back to work legislation; the NDP’s wounds seem to be rather self-inflicted.

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