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Critics blast province's disability cutbacks as a ‘disaster’

Gary Coombe watched his deaf and developmentally delayed son’s progresssucceed with support but is concerned his progress will crumble whenthe Alberta government yanks funding.

Gary Coombe watched his deaf and developmentally delayed son’s progress succeed with support but is concerned his progress will crumble when the Alberta government yanks funding.

Coombe watched his son struggle from becoming a young boy with severe communication problems to a young man who is involved with the Canadian Association of Disabled Skiers.

Coombe directly relates his 26-year-old son Cody’s success to the Calgary Scope Society, supported with government funding, but the Conservative government recently made cuts to Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) programs.

“The word I use for this scenario is disaster. It is disastrous for me, for Cody and for everyone who is supporting him,” Coombe told reporters yesterday from the Liberal Caucus office.
Calgary-Buffalo MLA Kent Hehr has written a letter to Minister of Seniors and Community Supports Mary Anne Jablonski in light of the recent cuts made without any consultation in legislature.

“I want to express my profound disappointment and personal disgust at the cuts to supports for persons with disabilities,” Hehr said.

Hehr is referring to the Alberta government’s announcement they would ask PDD funded organizations to repay two per cent of its annual budget. For an organization like the Calgary Scope society, that is $200,000 from a $10 million budget.

“This is a significant sum of money to these groups and will directly affect the programs and services they provide.”

 
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