Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday February 16, 2019
Lisa MacLeod tweets apology, after calls to resign over autism controversy
Ontario’s social services minister said Thursday that she was sorry if she made anyone feel threatened, after behaviour analysts said she warned them of consequences if they didn’t support her new autism program.
Lisa MacLeod is resisting calls for her resignation in the wake of the comment, and her apology came late Thursday after the premier was peppered with questions about the remark.
“It’s been an emotional time,” MacLeod wrote on Twitter. “This is an issue I take very personally, and I apologize if my comments made anyone feel threatened or uncomfortable.”
Earlier Thursday, Premier Doug Ford ruled out asking MacLeod to quit cabinet, calling her an “absolute all-star.”
“I would never ever — I want to repeat that — ever ask Lisa to resign. She’s done an incredible job and let’s just make sure it’s factual,” Ford said after an unrelated announcement.
MacLeod’s office never denied the assertion, made by the Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysts. Instead, it issued a statement saying that despite “collaborative dialogues,” the association was “unwavering” in its desire to self-regulate — and unwilling to work with the government.
The group disputes that, and said MacLeod and her staff requested a quote of support a few days before the new program was announced.
“(They) indicated that failure to do so would result in ‘four long years’ for the organization,” the association said. “The minister also indicated that if a quote of support was not forthcoming, a communication that behaviour analysts are ‘self-interested’ would be released from her office.”
The association, parents and advocates say the revamped autism program will leave many children without the level of therapy they need. (Source: CBC News)