Ontario Takes Decisive Action to Help More Families with Autism

Will clear waitlist for autism services and provide direct financial supports for families of 23,000 children previously denied funding in Ontario Autism Program.

EASTERN ONTARIO – Ontario’s government for the people is bringing relief to 23,000 children and their families who are currently languishing on a waitlist for autism services.

In an announcement at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Parliamentary Assistant Amy Fee and Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Lisa MacLeod outlined the widespread reforms to the Ontario Autism Program that will restore fairness, equality, and sustainability to the program.

“The Ontario government invests $321 million dollars each year in autism supports that under the current system leave 3 out of 4 children behind,” said MacLeod. “I cannot in good conscience continue this Liberal plan that was more about politics than the people it should be supporting.”

“We are taking action to improve access to services and supports so more families of children and youth living with autism can receive fair and balanced service,” said Steve Clark, MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.

Under the government’s proposed reforms, the waitlist for funding will be cleared in 18 months, people will be treated with fairness and equality, the system will become more financially sustainable, make the system more accountable and to guarantee that supports are there for families with the greatest need, now and well into the future.

“Families have told us that the system is broken. They are waiting far too long to receive a diagnosis, and when they do get one, they have to wait for service. This is not acceptable and our government is taking action to fix this,” said Randy Hillier, MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston.

With the proposed changes, families may receive a Childhood Budget until their child turns 18. Supports will be targeted to lower and middle-income families. The amount of the budget will depend on the length of time a child will be in the program. For example, a child entering the program at age two would be eligible to receive up to $140,000, while a child entering the program at age seven would receive up to $55,000. These changes will ensure that every child will receive assistance, rather than just 25% of families who currently receive support.

“Our government is committed to helping families receive critical supports and services faster, and not having children and youth wait for years before getting help,” said Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington.

“Autism hits close to home for every community across our province and ours is no exception. Our government’s plan ensures that no families will have to wait over two years to receive support for their children again,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte.


  • To be eligible for the Ontario Autism Program, a child must have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder from a qualified professional. Families are eligible to apply for program funding for children and youth up to age 18.
  • Today, there are over 2,400 families waiting for a diagnostic assessment, and more than 23,000 families waiting for behavioral services through the Ontario Autism Program with demand continuing to grow.
  • Evidence shows that children who receive behavioral intervention therapies between two and five years of age have the best long-term outcomes.


Helping Families by Improving Access to Autism Services


Ontario’s Government for the People Announces Grants to Help Improve Transit in Communities Across the Province

Forty Ontario Communities to Receive Funding to Support Projects.

BAY OF QUINTE - MPP for Bay of Quinte, Todd Smith announced today that Prince Edward County will receive $500,000 and Quinte West will receive $303,135 of support through the Community Transportation Grant Program.

“This investment will improve the quality of life for many people in our communities that are currently underserved by transit. Whether it’s seniors, students or others, access to transit helps people get where they need to be and live active, independent lives,” said Smith.

Ontario’s Government for the People is helping 40 communities across the province improve transportation services within and between communities to make it easier for people to get around.

Through the program, the province will provide municipalities with $30 million over five years to support local transit and intercommunity bus service in areas with little or no public transit. Funding will be provided for 45 different projects in 40 communities.

The program will make it more convenient for Ontarians, including seniors, students, youths and persons with disabilities to access essential services in their communities, connect with other transportation services, and travel between cities and towns.


  • Up to $30 million in grants over five years will be awarded to municipalities to partner with community organizations, health agencies, transit agencies, school-bus and private transportation operators, to coordinate local transportation services and/or run intercommunity routes.
  • The new Community Transportation Grant Program builds on a successful pilot program that provided nearly $3 million in funding for 22 municipalities since 2015.
  • In the first year of the pilot program, more than 28,000 people used the new services to make more than 105,000 trips.



For more information contact:
Lacy Shunock lacy.shunock@pc.ola.org

Ontario’s Government Boosts Bay of Quinte Transit Funding

Support will Help Enhance and Expand Transit Systems Across Ontario

BAY OF QUINTE – All three municipalities in the Bay of Quinte riding will see an increase in allocated funding from Ontario’s gas tax program.

Bay of Quinte MPP, Todd Smith is pleased to announce $737,657 will be allocated to Belleville, Quinte West will receive $506,885 and Prince Edward County will be allocated $118,007 for 2018/19.

Yesterday, Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation, and Parliamentary Assistant Kinga Surma announced that Ontario’s Government for the People is helping 107 municipalities across the province expand or improve their public transit systems with Ontario’s gas tax program.

“We are investing in public transit to make it a more convenient travel option and attract more riders,” said Yurek. “More public transit will cut through gridlock and get people moving.” 

This year, the province is providing $364 million in gas tax funding to 107 municipalities providing public transit service to 144 communities across Ontario. These communities represent over 92 per cent of Ontario’s total population.

Funding for Ontario’s gas tax program is determined by the number of litres of gasoline sold in the province. The program provides municipalities with two cents per litre of provincial gas tax revenues. Municipalities receiving gas tax funding must use these funds towards their public transit capital and/or operating expenditures, at their own discretion, including upgrading transit infrastructure, increasing accessibility, purchasing transit vehicles, adding more routes and extending hours of service.

Ontario Gas Tax Program – Bay of Quinte Allocations




Difference (%)




5.6% increase

Quinte West



2.1% increase

Prince Edward County



20.4% increase


  • The share that each municipality receives under Ontario’s gas tax program is based on a formula of 70 percent ridership and 30 percent population. These funds serve both the needs of large and small municipal transit systems.
  • Municipalities that contribute financially to public transit services are eligible for funding. Municipalities not currently providing transit can become eligible for funding if they start up fully-accessible transit services.


2018-19 Gas Tax Funding by Municipality - https://news.ontario.ca/mto/en/2019/01/2018-19-gas-tax-funding-by-municipality.html


Media Contact: Lacy Shunock | 613-962-1144 | Lacy.shunock@pc.ola.org