Protests that started at Human Service Minister Dave Hancock’s office Friday morning moved to the legislature at noon as about 400 protesters called the cuts disability services “too big, too fast, too soon.”
For many in the crowd, it was the second or third time they have protested at the legislature in the past three weeks to object to a major overhaul of the Persons for Developmental Disabilities (PDD) program, which pays for a wide range of services for the disabled, ranging from staff to help them in their homes to day programs that get them into the community.
Those day programs, which can include art classes or trips to a swimming pool, are typically paid for through the community access piece of the PDD program. And the decision to cut that program by $39 million in the 2013-14 budget has many PDD recipients, their family members and service providers worried they will lose valuable services. On top of that, the province is making changes to how the needs of PDD clients are assessed, sparking anxiety about how services could change.