Cuts to support for autistic children are hurting families all across the province, including up north.

Mushkegowuk-James Bay MPP Guy Bourgouin was at Queen’s Park discussing Premier Doug Ford’s government cuts to the autism program.

Announced by the Ontario PC’s families are now receiving a lifetime total of $140,000 per child for treatment, but a child entering past the age of six receives just $55,000, and every year after the age of six the funding is annually capped at $5,000.

According to Ontario Autism Coalition the average family in intensive autism therapy for their child sees costs between $50,000 to $70,000 a year, therefore $5,000 annually isn’t cutting it.

Bourgouin resonated this message towards Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Lisa MacLeod.

He spoke how his office has been flooded with calls from concerned parents since the cuts became official, and decided to share the story of a young boy named Cedric from Kapuskasing.

“Cedric is a young boy from Kapuskasing.  He requires 20 hours of therapy every week, but under this government’s plan, Cedric will be offered a mere two hours a week. That is one tenth of what he’s been prescribed by his specialist.”

He says his family is now expected to cover even more costs.

“His family will be forced to pay out-of-pocket for costs not covered by this government, as well as the costs of traveling two hours every day to and from Timmins to receive treatment.”

Bourgouin says families and children deserve much better than waiting lists and bankruptcy.

“Families and children deserve so much better than to be pushed onto long wait lists or into bankruptcy. We have a moral responsibility toward children and youth in need.”

To finish, Bourgouin asked his colleagues whether or not Cedric deserves to go without education, support and the care he deserves, something he is calling upon the government to change.