Budget 2021: The Time is Now
The Alberta government is inviting public input as it determines the 2021 provincial budget. Given the province’s economic challenges, it is critical that the interests of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families are placed front and centre for every MLA. Meeting face-to-face with your MLA is one of the most powerful and effective means of having government listen, understand and act in the interests of people with developmental disabilities and their families. We are asking you to meet with your MLA and thus ensure every MLA in the province has heard from families, individuals with developmental disabilities and their allies.
Over the past year, children and adults with developmental disabilities have already been subject to unwarranted reductions in services and supports. These growing cuts have ranged from reductions in early intervention services, educational assistants, supports for children with disabilities to be able to learn at home, therapeutic services for school age children, supports to raise a child at home and keep a family together, and funding for adults with developmental disabilities to have the supports they require to live inclusive and meaningful lives in community, with thousands of children and adults on waiting lists. In addition, AISH has been de-indexed.
The province cannot resolve its economic challenges at the expense of children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families. While the province invests billions in possible pipelines and infrastructure it seems to have forgotten that investing in families is of equal if not greater benefit to communities and Albertans. Families are the infrastructure upon which communities are built and sustained.
The government is signalling significant additional cuts to come, including further reduction to supports and services for individuals and families with developmental disabilities during a pandemic. This is a critical time for families and those who support individuals with developmental disabilities to ensure their voices are heard and considered. Our collective action will have the most significant impact if families and allies rally together to meet their MLAs across the province.
We have summarized what we believe to be the most pressing issues to raise with your MLA and why. These issues are summarized in the following companion documents:
- Background to the forthcoming budget
- Information for MLAs
- Meeting with Your MLA 2020
- MLA Meeting Fillable Feedback Form
Thank you for making a difference!
**In preparation for the 2021 budget, the government is also soliciting feedback by way of an approximately 10-minute online survey and various virtual ‘town hall’ meetings. Learn more about this, and take the survey by the December 4th deadline by clicking here.