Cuts to disabilities programs will cost jobs, providers warn

  • By Jason van Rassel, Calgary Herald May 29, 2013

    Cuts to the Persons with Developmental Disabilities program will result in mass layoffs and place an added burden on the health and justice systems, says a group of Calgary-area agencies.

    The provincial government is cutting $42 million from a $96-million budget for PDD’s community access support programs, which are designed to help people with disabilities participate in the community through volunteering and recreational activities. But that move is bound to create expenses elsewhere on the province’s balance sheet because people who need intensive support will begin falling through the cracks, said one provider.

    “They will be in the hospital beds, they will be in the (psychiatric) wards, they will be in the criminal justice system,” said Jayne Myatt, executive director of Vantage Enterprises, which provides community access programs for clients and offers supportive and independent living for people with cognitive disabilities.