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Parents of child with Down syndrome seeking services stymied by financial rules

Five-year-old Leah gets plenty of love and attention from parents Elmer Harvey and Michelle Pye. Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

The parents of a five-year-old girl with Down syndrome say they have nowhere to turn for help after falling on hard luck and moving to the province.
Things took a turn for the worse when Elmer Harvey tried to go back to work last June in Mississauga, Ont., after quadruple bypass surgery.
He said that despite his doctor's clearance and his boss's assurances, the board of the condominium building where he was a superintendent decided to terminate his employment, deeming him unfit for the duties.
Harvey, partner Michelle Pye and daughter, Leah, were then given seven days to get out of the condo they had been living in while he worked in the complex, the couple said.
Pye, a native Newfoundlander, couldn't afford on her salary alone to pay rent and childcare expenses because Harvey wasn't able to take constant care of Leah due to his health.
So they made the tough decision for her to quit her job of nearly two decades and move the three of them home to Newfoundland, where she had family support.
Since arriving home and looking for work, the couple tried to apply to the provincial government for some assistance for speech therapy for Leah so she can go to school next year, as well as financial help to buy pull-up diapers, special shoes, glasses and other things the little girl might need.
But the couple said they were told by Health and Community Services they made too much money last year.
Harvey was out of work in June, and Pye in November, with employment insurance to live on.
After being told to move out in a hurry from their condo, they lived two weeks in a hotel and then had relocation expenses to St. John's, where they now rent a basement apartment. So they had no reserves.
"We tried to get a bit of help for her," Pye said of their appeal to the government.
Pye said things seemed to be looking up at first, and then they were told they didn't qualify and to try again next year. But by then, the couple hopes to have found jobs and get Leah in school.
"We need help now," Harvey said. "We don't know where to turn."
See NOT, page A2
"We never had any help for her since she was born. We both worked," Pye said, adding attempts to get services such as speech therapy in Ontario wound up mired in red tape and waiting lists.
"She's such a little sweetheart," said Harvey, his eyes gleaming as his daughter watches dinosaurs on TV.
Pye said that in Newfoundland the couple has been told they have to pay out more than they have coming in to qualify for help.
But Harvey said the couple doesn't have a drug plan now - he requires medication - and is already juggling their finances to keep things going while he puts resumÉs around town for work.
"They don't count what we require for her," Pye said.
According to the Department of Health, which does not comment on specific cases, a calculation is done to determine special services and assistance, including home care. The calculation weighs family income and liquid assets against expenses, and decides what the family should contribute to the special needs.
Jeff Hutchings, chairman of the Newfoundland and Labrador Down Syndrome Society, said the process for accessing services for special needs children is intrusive and should not be based on financial means.
Harvey and Pye have not made any contact with the society yet. But Hutchings told The Telegram families with children with Down syndrome trying to get respite support have been asked too many personal income questions about their spending habits.

Jumping through hoops
"I was completely offended," he said of a case recently discussed at the society's board meeting.
"The hoops they have to go through for that process … I couldn't believe it had to come to that."
Hutchings said he knows of other families dealing with the system that have come across stumbling blocks. He also said children are treated differently, depending on their diagnosis.
For example, he said a child with both Down syndrome and autism can get services, whereas a child with only Down syndrome cannot.
"It should be a need-based thing," he said, adding the Department of Health and Community Services should be stepping up to help families and the policies should be consistent among special needs groups.
He said the waitlist for therapy can be from six months to 15 months, or more.
Hutchings said one family who moved here was told they had to wait more than a year just to get an assessment of their child's needs.
"That's a long time in a child's life," Hutchings said.
He said it's been proven time and time again that early intervention helps children with Down syndrome progress.
"There's not enough assistance," Hutchings said.
He said those who work with the Down syndrome society are a small group of working parents who volunteer their time.
The provincial society does provide some speech therapy, paid for by its fundraising efforts, but Hutchings said that's just a stopgap measure.
"Our efforts should be going into awareness, building resources and lobbying government," he said.
Down syndrome occurs in about one in 800 births. According to the Canadian Down Syndrome Society's website, Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement and commonly has an effect on learning style, which varies from person to person.
Those with Down syndrome can also be predisposed to certain illnesses and medical conditions, but Down syndrome itself is not a disease, disorder or defect.

bsweet@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Health and Community Services, Newfoundland and Labrador Down Syndrome Society, Department of Health and Community Canadian Down Syndrome Society

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Mississauga, St. John's Ontario

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Recent comments

  • Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    I agree to. Newfoundlanders first! Why are we giving money to a bunch of foreigners? Right, because the GG is a foreigner. I'll say it again, charity begins at home!

  • Frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    I have shared this article with Canadian's from Coast to Coast..

    Yes, we have to care for our people in our own backyards as well, despite tragedies elsewhere ,Premier Williams.

    I have asked The Have's In Ontario, Quebec and BC, to Help the Have Not's In Danny Williams Newfoundland. Gee, I was under the impression that my province was a Have Province in this modern day era of flowing barrels of oil.

    Once again the province turns a blind eye on its people and their pride and caring dignity. Then, is it Danny or the people who think they own the government offices and the money in the kitty to help our people?

  • Think Globally
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    With all due respect, these people aren't watching their family members being dumped onto fires while wondering where their next meal will be coming from. I doubt the Harvey family is calling for a boycott of Haitian relief efforts, nor, do I believe that they are asking for charity -- just fairness. Then again, I hardly believe that you Newfoundlander Firsters would be too keen, as Politically Incorrect said, to see your taxes increase so that people like the Harveys don't fall between the cracks.

  • Mikalah
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    We have to look after our own, and you guys are right, enough about Haiti, we need help for our own who need it...maybe a fund should be set up for Leah......our own comes first!! I have to agree with I can't believe it Danny gave $1M to Haiti....go figure!!!

  • Heather
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    So TRUE Can't believe it ....there is ALWAYS money and assistance for other countries in need but hardly every any money and other resources available for our own people in need. What is this province coming to I wonder??!!

  • cat
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    i find it hard to accept that the government will pay for a legal aid lawyer for some egotistical, drunken journalist who tries to play god at 30 thousand ft. but won't give a penny to help a child. if this child was in an institution the gov. would be paying for 24/7 care but they won't help her parents give her a quality life in a lovin home. insane!!!!!

  • Wow
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Wow guys, comparing this tragedy to the one in Haiti? That's like comparing a hangnail to the holocaust. I mean, yes, this is clearly a sad story, but c'mon people - use some discretion. You people should be ashamed of yourselves, If I were a Haitian living in NL, I would be absolutly furious about your comments. Just becuase their skin is a different color, it doesn't mean they are expendable. I wonder how many Haitian children with down syndrome were CRUSHED BY FALLING CONCRETE in the past two weeks?..... Makes me sick knowing I share this province with scum like you people, absolutly sick....

  • fred
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    It should be Ontario's problem not ours. It seems every day or so people who have lived in other provinces for most of their lives, come back to nl, when they are sick and rely on our guverenment for medical care when they have not been paying nl taxes like the rest of us.

  • Bones II
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Frank Blackwood: I hope you are also sharing articles about the displaced homeless in BC so the Olympics will look cleaner. This came down to a decision being made by one of the robots that works in these departments. The have the authority, but all too often, hide behind complex policies. Why does last year matter anymore? It's long gone and won't be back. Obviously no help was needed last year, the man had a job and an income. What about this year? Does a family have to rot for a year so these robots can have some data to crunch? Can't somebody make a sensible or a compassionate decision anymore? They should change the name to reflect the robotic responses from these paper filler outers. A story ALWAYS has to become a news issue and garner public attention before the robots clue in as to what to do.

  • Wow
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Well Kenny, If you read my comment correctly you would know that I'm not saying you should be ashamed of wanting to help a little girl. I said you should be ashamed about badmouthing our government for supporting Haiti as well as comparing a singular, bad situation, that most likely could have been averted if Elmer had taken his diet more seriously in the past 20 years, to a Global Tragedy of this proportion, which was IMPOSSIBLE to avert. And you should feel ashamed if you feel this way. As for the different colored skin comment, Do you think you would feel the same if it were Ontario or another province in Canada that suffered a death toll of 150,000+? I know nothing was specifically said but from the tones used in these comments, one can only infer that there is a lack of compassion because we are disconnected from that particular race in this province. And before you come back at me with some smug comment about taking care of your own before others, search the web for videos of Haitian parents burning the disfigured bodies of their children, maybe you'll have a change of heart. Yes, you are a Newfoundlander, but you are also a human......or are you?

  • Can't
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    I.can't believe that we as a people can raise millions of dollars for worthy causes like Haiti, then on the same hand turn our backs on people here in our own community. This innocent little girl and her family need help now , just like Haiti , but we got all kinds of reasons why they don't qualify. Come off it , tell that pen pushing office worker who reviewed this case to open their eyes, smell the coffee and all that and help these people NOW. Remember that charity begins at home.

  • E
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    People that make a lot of money aren't turned away at a hospital or made pay for their medical treatment.

  • Celia
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    While I sympathize with the child's situation, no one has commented on the stupidity of the parents to move to Newfoundland without at least one of them having a job. They must have known the employment situation in this Province before they moved here. I hope their little child receives the help she needs but a little foresight might have helped right from the beginning.

  • Nicholas
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Can'y Believe IT.
    I couldn't say it any better myself. Our province can give one million dollars for Haiti, but yet can't help this family. I personally would sooner give my $20.00 to these people than Haiti. I hope some financial institution reads this and has enough heart to set something up. I would gladly donate. As proud Newfoundlanders lets help each other first.

  • R
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Enough about Haiti, someone should setup a fund for Leah and her family lets start looking after our OWN for a change.

  • CFA
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Newfoundlanders generous? Some yes, but you Kenny? Yeah, just keep telling yourself that. Generous, but not to anyone else -- especially if they are nor from here. Oh, by-the-way, 'bigot' is not exclusive to skin colour. How about xenophobe? Does that work for you?

    To all those who are angry at a family coming back to Newfoundland and expecting medical attention here, I'm just wondering, does this apply to Newfoundlanders who go to Sick Kids and Princess Margaret hospitals in Ontario too?

  • Heather
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    To Can't Believe IT - I second your comments

  • Disgusted
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    WOW! I thought Newfoundlanders were generous -- at least that's what they say. What a bunch of self-centered, xenophobic, myopic tightwads! Do you even watch the news (what am I saying??). Did no one step in when St. John's burned, or when the island was hit by a Tsunami? Our children are raising money in their schools while you lot whine and whinge. And I don't buy for a second that you wouldn't cry blue murder if provincial welfare payments increased a dime.

  • Kenny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    HEY WOW, did I miss something written in all the comments listed???? I didn't detect any bigotts, I didn't see any mention of skin color so what are you getting on with???? And NO, I am not ashamed of myself for wanting to help a local family that needs our help since the Govt. won't. If I were a Haitian living in this province I would be most gracious to live here. Turn on a radio and tune into any Steele Communications Stations and you will see how generous Newfoundlanders really are. One more thing - how dare you call me a scum beause I want to help locally. If you don't like the company you share a province with MOVE. You make me sick.

  • Politically Incorrect
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    The only one turning their backs on this family is a policy that states they don't qualify because they make over $x. Why do we have policies like that? Because the public, through their elected representatives want to cap who has access to public funds at a low level so that we dont have to pay for these needs through our taxes. Sure these, and other families should have access to the resources they need (without having to rely for charity), but at the end of the day it will cost more, and there are few politicians brave (or suicidal) enough to say that to live in a civil society, taxes will have to increase and tax cuts to the wealthy need to be discarded.

  • Heather
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    To perplexed from St. John's - what does this story have to do with animal charities - which by the way are my charities of choice. That does not been that I don't also gice to 'Human' causes. It is not necessary to slam the efforts of our Province to help Haiti in order to seek fairness for those in need here

  • Jeff
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    2cents, you are right on one point: Speech Theraphy is free... IF you can avail of it. Kids with Downs have historically been given little priority. I've personally been lobbying government for 10 years now to have services for kids with DS given priority. After age three kids with DS are now essentially dropped from Janeway programs. I've had this discussion with everyone from Janeway administrators to the Misinster of Health.

    Its time for a change. Hiding behind lack of funding and lack of respources has run its course. This is now a human rights issue.

  • Taxpayer ll
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Sooo, they left Ontario, the land of milk and honey, to return here for what? Family support? Where is the family support? Sounds to me as if these guys would have been much better off if they had stayed in Ontario, where there would probably have been more job opportunities. And why did this lady quit her job again? Living in a hotel room, for that long they could have rented an apartment in ontario, she could have gotten a job etc. i don't understand the decision making process here.

  • Ursula
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these ---- George Washington Carver . It is said that it takes a village to raise a child ,is this case and that of any child,rich or poor ,it is the responsibility of the people to make sure that our children are given every opportunity to succeed.

  • Pearce
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    This injustice is occuring every day here in our region and it has to stop. Our own children cannot get the help they need for essential services like Speech therapy. Leah and other children in her position have been pushed away by our own government administration. Unfortunatly government will not help because the group who need this are considered insignificant to them. I doubt things would be the same if the Health Minister or the Premier had a child in the same situation. They have done nothing to change this wrongdoing and I don't see them trying to fix it. Personally,we were told to go buy a 50,ooo dollar boat and put ourselves in debt then we would qualify for assistance. Make sense of that!

  • E
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    My God people, these are fellow Newfoundlanders...not only that...human beings that need help and compassion...I sure hope none of your children ever have the need to travel to another province for medial treatment...like the IWK or like CFA said above, a hospital in Ontario. My niece was sent to IWK when she was less than 24 hours old for heart surgery...she spent months there. That was the first time...she had 7 surgeries since then and 5 of them out of our province. I am sure glad she wasn't turned away because her parents didn't pay taxes in NS & AB...you look at us as divided as provinces, but you have to remember we are one country and free to move from one province to the next if the need be. We are not just one province, we are all Canadians and we help others in need because that is who we are as Canadians!

  • j
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Hello little Leah. You are a beautiful and happy looking little girl. I hope you get all the assistance and love you need to continue to flourish in your life.
    I'm sure that some of the comments I've read above about taking care of our own instead of Haiti are just hot headed responses to wanting to help you.

  • 2cents
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Speech Therapy can be accessed at the Janeway at no cost. They only need a doctor's referral to see one. It does have a waiting list like everything else but depending on her need she may be given priority. They should also call Health and Community services there may be programs available to help her with school readiness.

  • Perplexed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    I have to agree. FGS who are these people that are making these decisions. It seems they lack common sense and compassion. It seems that we are living in a where people would prefer to give more money to animal organizations than help a human being in need. It's a sad situation.

  • Two
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Those who want to return to NL after living such rich lives in other provinces, should check into what handouts they will get from this province. Often times one thinks that its so much easier living in this province, yet they would not have gotten the benefits elsewhere if they'd decided to stay there. When the going was good, was taxes paid here or there?

  • Coda
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    For once, I'm disappointed in the government's decision to contribute that much funds to the Haiti crowd. Just a few months ago, they couldn't even find the funds to support our own social programs, which by the way are still lobbying for funds to continue to this day.
    I can't believe that the government forgot their place and forgot the reason that they were put there was because of the these people who are rightful voters and believed in them. To me personally, I took it as a stab in the back from my own government.
    Government has already given their financial committment to Haiti, which they can't undo, but according to the negative feedback their receiving, they will have to scramble to compensate the NL's for the mess that they created by this.
    Charity does begin at home and this story is only the tip of the iceberg in the people who need help, mostly temporary. I believe that the government has a mandated responsiblity to make sure that these needy (for lack of a better word) groups get first attention.

  • Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    I agree to. Newfoundlanders first! Why are we giving money to a bunch of foreigners? Right, because the GG is a foreigner. I'll say it again, charity begins at home!

  • Frank
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    I have shared this article with Canadian's from Coast to Coast..

    Yes, we have to care for our people in our own backyards as well, despite tragedies elsewhere ,Premier Williams.

    I have asked The Have's In Ontario, Quebec and BC, to Help the Have Not's In Danny Williams Newfoundland. Gee, I was under the impression that my province was a Have Province in this modern day era of flowing barrels of oil.

    Once again the province turns a blind eye on its people and their pride and caring dignity. Then, is it Danny or the people who think they own the government offices and the money in the kitty to help our people?

  • Think Globally
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    With all due respect, these people aren't watching their family members being dumped onto fires while wondering where their next meal will be coming from. I doubt the Harvey family is calling for a boycott of Haitian relief efforts, nor, do I believe that they are asking for charity -- just fairness. Then again, I hardly believe that you Newfoundlander Firsters would be too keen, as Politically Incorrect said, to see your taxes increase so that people like the Harveys don't fall between the cracks.

  • Mikalah
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    We have to look after our own, and you guys are right, enough about Haiti, we need help for our own who need it...maybe a fund should be set up for Leah......our own comes first!! I have to agree with I can't believe it Danny gave $1M to Haiti....go figure!!!

  • Heather
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    So TRUE Can't believe it ....there is ALWAYS money and assistance for other countries in need but hardly every any money and other resources available for our own people in need. What is this province coming to I wonder??!!

  • cat
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    i find it hard to accept that the government will pay for a legal aid lawyer for some egotistical, drunken journalist who tries to play god at 30 thousand ft. but won't give a penny to help a child. if this child was in an institution the gov. would be paying for 24/7 care but they won't help her parents give her a quality life in a lovin home. insane!!!!!

  • Wow
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    Wow guys, comparing this tragedy to the one in Haiti? That's like comparing a hangnail to the holocaust. I mean, yes, this is clearly a sad story, but c'mon people - use some discretion. You people should be ashamed of yourselves, If I were a Haitian living in NL, I would be absolutly furious about your comments. Just becuase their skin is a different color, it doesn't mean they are expendable. I wonder how many Haitian children with down syndrome were CRUSHED BY FALLING CONCRETE in the past two weeks?..... Makes me sick knowing I share this province with scum like you people, absolutly sick....

  • fred
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    It should be Ontario's problem not ours. It seems every day or so people who have lived in other provinces for most of their lives, come back to nl, when they are sick and rely on our guverenment for medical care when they have not been paying nl taxes like the rest of us.

  • Bones II
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    Frank Blackwood: I hope you are also sharing articles about the displaced homeless in BC so the Olympics will look cleaner. This came down to a decision being made by one of the robots that works in these departments. The have the authority, but all too often, hide behind complex policies. Why does last year matter anymore? It's long gone and won't be back. Obviously no help was needed last year, the man had a job and an income. What about this year? Does a family have to rot for a year so these robots can have some data to crunch? Can't somebody make a sensible or a compassionate decision anymore? They should change the name to reflect the robotic responses from these paper filler outers. A story ALWAYS has to become a news issue and garner public attention before the robots clue in as to what to do.

  • Wow
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    Well Kenny, If you read my comment correctly you would know that I'm not saying you should be ashamed of wanting to help a little girl. I said you should be ashamed about badmouthing our government for supporting Haiti as well as comparing a singular, bad situation, that most likely could have been averted if Elmer had taken his diet more seriously in the past 20 years, to a Global Tragedy of this proportion, which was IMPOSSIBLE to avert. And you should feel ashamed if you feel this way. As for the different colored skin comment, Do you think you would feel the same if it were Ontario or another province in Canada that suffered a death toll of 150,000+? I know nothing was specifically said but from the tones used in these comments, one can only infer that there is a lack of compassion because we are disconnected from that particular race in this province. And before you come back at me with some smug comment about taking care of your own before others, search the web for videos of Haitian parents burning the disfigured bodies of their children, maybe you'll have a change of heart. Yes, you are a Newfoundlander, but you are also a human......or are you?

  • Can't
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    I.can't believe that we as a people can raise millions of dollars for worthy causes like Haiti, then on the same hand turn our backs on people here in our own community. This innocent little girl and her family need help now , just like Haiti , but we got all kinds of reasons why they don't qualify. Come off it , tell that pen pushing office worker who reviewed this case to open their eyes, smell the coffee and all that and help these people NOW. Remember that charity begins at home.

  • E
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    People that make a lot of money aren't turned away at a hospital or made pay for their medical treatment.

  • Celia
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    While I sympathize with the child's situation, no one has commented on the stupidity of the parents to move to Newfoundland without at least one of them having a job. They must have known the employment situation in this Province before they moved here. I hope their little child receives the help she needs but a little foresight might have helped right from the beginning.

  • Nicholas
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    Can'y Believe IT.
    I couldn't say it any better myself. Our province can give one million dollars for Haiti, but yet can't help this family. I personally would sooner give my $20.00 to these people than Haiti. I hope some financial institution reads this and has enough heart to set something up. I would gladly donate. As proud Newfoundlanders lets help each other first.

  • R
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    Enough about Haiti, someone should setup a fund for Leah and her family lets start looking after our OWN for a change.

  • CFA
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Newfoundlanders generous? Some yes, but you Kenny? Yeah, just keep telling yourself that. Generous, but not to anyone else -- especially if they are nor from here. Oh, by-the-way, 'bigot' is not exclusive to skin colour. How about xenophobe? Does that work for you?

    To all those who are angry at a family coming back to Newfoundland and expecting medical attention here, I'm just wondering, does this apply to Newfoundlanders who go to Sick Kids and Princess Margaret hospitals in Ontario too?

  • Heather
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    To Can't Believe IT - I second your comments

  • Disgusted
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    WOW! I thought Newfoundlanders were generous -- at least that's what they say. What a bunch of self-centered, xenophobic, myopic tightwads! Do you even watch the news (what am I saying??). Did no one step in when St. John's burned, or when the island was hit by a Tsunami? Our children are raising money in their schools while you lot whine and whinge. And I don't buy for a second that you wouldn't cry blue murder if provincial welfare payments increased a dime.

  • Kenny
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    HEY WOW, did I miss something written in all the comments listed???? I didn't detect any bigotts, I didn't see any mention of skin color so what are you getting on with???? And NO, I am not ashamed of myself for wanting to help a local family that needs our help since the Govt. won't. If I were a Haitian living in this province I would be most gracious to live here. Turn on a radio and tune into any Steele Communications Stations and you will see how generous Newfoundlanders really are. One more thing - how dare you call me a scum beause I want to help locally. If you don't like the company you share a province with MOVE. You make me sick.

  • Politically Incorrect
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    The only one turning their backs on this family is a policy that states they don't qualify because they make over $x. Why do we have policies like that? Because the public, through their elected representatives want to cap who has access to public funds at a low level so that we dont have to pay for these needs through our taxes. Sure these, and other families should have access to the resources they need (without having to rely for charity), but at the end of the day it will cost more, and there are few politicians brave (or suicidal) enough to say that to live in a civil society, taxes will have to increase and tax cuts to the wealthy need to be discarded.

  • Heather
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    To perplexed from St. John's - what does this story have to do with animal charities - which by the way are my charities of choice. That does not been that I don't also gice to 'Human' causes. It is not necessary to slam the efforts of our Province to help Haiti in order to seek fairness for those in need here

  • Jeff
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    2cents, you are right on one point: Speech Theraphy is free... IF you can avail of it. Kids with Downs have historically been given little priority. I've personally been lobbying government for 10 years now to have services for kids with DS given priority. After age three kids with DS are now essentially dropped from Janeway programs. I've had this discussion with everyone from Janeway administrators to the Misinster of Health.

    Its time for a change. Hiding behind lack of funding and lack of respources has run its course. This is now a human rights issue.

  • Taxpayer ll
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Sooo, they left Ontario, the land of milk and honey, to return here for what? Family support? Where is the family support? Sounds to me as if these guys would have been much better off if they had stayed in Ontario, where there would probably have been more job opportunities. And why did this lady quit her job again? Living in a hotel room, for that long they could have rented an apartment in ontario, she could have gotten a job etc. i don't understand the decision making process here.

  • Ursula
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these ---- George Washington Carver . It is said that it takes a village to raise a child ,is this case and that of any child,rich or poor ,it is the responsibility of the people to make sure that our children are given every opportunity to succeed.

  • Pearce
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    This injustice is occuring every day here in our region and it has to stop. Our own children cannot get the help they need for essential services like Speech therapy. Leah and other children in her position have been pushed away by our own government administration. Unfortunatly government will not help because the group who need this are considered insignificant to them. I doubt things would be the same if the Health Minister or the Premier had a child in the same situation. They have done nothing to change this wrongdoing and I don't see them trying to fix it. Personally,we were told to go buy a 50,ooo dollar boat and put ourselves in debt then we would qualify for assistance. Make sense of that!

  • E
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    My God people, these are fellow Newfoundlanders...not only that...human beings that need help and compassion...I sure hope none of your children ever have the need to travel to another province for medial treatment...like the IWK or like CFA said above, a hospital in Ontario. My niece was sent to IWK when she was less than 24 hours old for heart surgery...she spent months there. That was the first time...she had 7 surgeries since then and 5 of them out of our province. I am sure glad she wasn't turned away because her parents didn't pay taxes in NS & AB...you look at us as divided as provinces, but you have to remember we are one country and free to move from one province to the next if the need be. We are not just one province, we are all Canadians and we help others in need because that is who we are as Canadians!

  • j
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Hello little Leah. You are a beautiful and happy looking little girl. I hope you get all the assistance and love you need to continue to flourish in your life.
    I'm sure that some of the comments I've read above about taking care of our own instead of Haiti are just hot headed responses to wanting to help you.

  • 2cents
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Speech Therapy can be accessed at the Janeway at no cost. They only need a doctor's referral to see one. It does have a waiting list like everything else but depending on her need she may be given priority. They should also call Health and Community services there may be programs available to help her with school readiness.

  • Perplexed
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    I have to agree. FGS who are these people that are making these decisions. It seems they lack common sense and compassion. It seems that we are living in a where people would prefer to give more money to animal organizations than help a human being in need. It's a sad situation.

  • Two
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Those who want to return to NL after living such rich lives in other provinces, should check into what handouts they will get from this province. Often times one thinks that its so much easier living in this province, yet they would not have gotten the benefits elsewhere if they'd decided to stay there. When the going was good, was taxes paid here or there?

  • Coda
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    For once, I'm disappointed in the government's decision to contribute that much funds to the Haiti crowd. Just a few months ago, they couldn't even find the funds to support our own social programs, which by the way are still lobbying for funds to continue to this day.
    I can't believe that the government forgot their place and forgot the reason that they were put there was because of the these people who are rightful voters and believed in them. To me personally, I took it as a stab in the back from my own government.
    Government has already given their financial committment to Haiti, which they can't undo, but according to the negative feedback their receiving, they will have to scramble to compensate the NL's for the mess that they created by this.
    Charity does begin at home and this story is only the tip of the iceberg in the people who need help, mostly temporary. I believe that the government has a mandated responsiblity to make sure that these needy (for lack of a better word) groups get first attention.