McGuinty closing Thistletown mental health to waste $1.1 billion on wind

When it comes to government priorities, actions speak louder than words. The Dalton McGuinty Liberal government says they care about the most vulnerable in our society.

Yet, while they are willing to  spend $1.1 billion dollars a year on the Ontario FIT (Feed-in-Tariff) program and other green energy subsidies for wind and solar energy that are unsustainable (according to the Fraser Institute), they are “not” willing to spend the money needed to keep the Thistletown Regional Centre in Etobicoke open — where the most vulnerable go for help.

In terms of the FIT program and green subsidies, that money spent simply goes to private wind investors and energy demands seldom match availability. In other words, most of the money spent is money down the drain.

Click on image for thistletown.net

Yet, in terms of Thistletown, the money goes towards mental health treatments and services for children and youth, including those with autism, education programs and research not done anywhere else. A direct correlation? Perhaps not. But, an example of the McGuinty government’s priorities? Absolutely.

Think about it. The Ontario Government has a huge deficit which continues to grow. Yet, they plan to keep on spending money that is based on an approach to green energy that is failing everywhere in the world it has been tried.  And, Ontarians are fighting back as today’s FIT protest indicates. (For photos of that protest, see the blog Quixote’s Last Stand).   Not only that, Canada is now before the WTO having to defend the indefensible subsidies.  Check out ontario-wind-resistance.org for that story.

Yet, perhaps the most disgusting aspect of closing Thistletown is the lying “messaging” the McGuinty government is using to defend the closure. For example, check out this Ministry of Children and Youth Services page. It actually states that the province is “improving mental health services” by closing Thistletown and that all the clients now served at that facility will be referred to similar services in their local communities. Unfortunately, they are serious. However, anyone who has ever dealt with making referrals for such services in Ontario’s towns and cities, knows of the heavy case loads and long waiting lists — assuming there is any similar program or service even available.

The reality is that Thistletown currently not only serves 400 individuals and their families, but provides a safe haven for fifteen individuals with severe mental health problems, such as autism, who live in residence full-time.  As I wrote yesterday, it was just such a residential program that saved my son’s life in the early 1980s — a program that was also closed many years ago.

So, let’s call a spade a spade. The McGuinty government is closing a mental health facility so that they can waste up to $1.1 billion dollars a year on wind energy that is unreliable and unsustainable. Leading me to the inevitable conclusion that when a government’s priorities are to spend more money on green energy than it takes in, and makes spending cuts that adversely affect the most vulnerable in our society, it is long past time to throw the bums out.

And, it is no secret that I would like to see a Tim Hudak led PC government take their place. While I didn’t know about the pending closure of Thistletown at the time I interviewed Hudak, he did say he would cancel the FIT program and place an immediate moratorium on wind energy projects.

In the meantime, I would encourage visitors to sign the petition at this link to keep Thistletown open. Plus, here is a Facebook page in support of Thistletown.

[…]

Endnote: Another U.S. based solar company declared bankruptcy today (H/T JNW). (Link) Check out all the other related business failures at the bottom of the JNW entry, particularly this one on the EU climate policy being in decline. Hello Dalton McGuinty? Are you paying attention?

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Sandy

Sandy is a retired educator, author & former conservative political strategist. She operated the first "Crux of the Matter" from 2006 until 2017 and opened this "Crux of the Matter 2.0" blog in late August, 2018.

20 thoughts on “McGuinty closing Thistletown mental health to waste $1.1 billion on wind

  1. I don’t know what we can do to drive home to the ‘urbanites’ in the GTA and Ottawa, just how detrimental to all sections of society McGuinty and his mad obsession with green energy is.
    I’ve got family members who fully support his policies and it’s beyond infuriating trying to get them to at least open their minds enough to LISTEN to the other side.

    I have a son with Aspergers and one of the greatest frustrations I found in this province, was that unless you lived inside the Toronto city limits, there was absolutely nothing available in the way of assistance or programs to help. It didn’t matter that I could easily drive to Toronto to attend some of the centres. No. You had to actually live in Toronto.

    McGuinty continues to make matters worse and I have no idea what it’s going to take to get this insanity to stop. My heart goes out to the families struggling with mental illness who will now have one less avenue available to them.

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  2. I hear your frustration Donna. I live in Niagara and while there are a couple of programs for youth, they have huge waiting lists.

    However, given what you said about not being able to use a facility like Thistletown because you didn’t live in Toronto, where else in Toronto are all those clients going to go? Particularly the full-time residential clients?

    I mean, the McGuinty gov’t closed all the facilities for the developmentally handicapped a few years ago — ostensibly on philosophical grounds. The thing is, I have done some consulting on the front in Niagara, and while there are some good group homes, besides Bethesda, there isn’t anything to accommodate everyone currently served at Thistletown.

    That facility also provided specialized training and research which won’t go anywhere else I suspect.

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  3. All the hospital closures will be in PC held ridings. The vast majority of the wind development will also be in PC held ridings. This is the mindset of Dalton McGuinty. Punish those who didn’t vote for him.

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  4. Good point OWR. Ontarians need to wake up. I sure hope the NDP vote against the current budget. And, I hope those who live in large city centres open their eyes and ears!!!!

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  5. Also, a wanna-be wind developer who wanted to put 700 offshore turbines in Lake Erie is also suing the McGuinty government now. How much is the GEA bad planning and ideological zeal going to cost the Ontario taxpayer when it’s all said and done?

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  6. A wanna-be wind developer suing the McGuinty gov’t? OWR — what next? Maybe I had better not ask!

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  7. OWR — I just noticed the post on that law suit on your blog. The developer is suing the gov’t — us — for $1 billion dollars! Corporate welfare indeed — out of our pockets and those who depend on Thistletown. This madness has to stop. Would that city dwellers who voted for the McGuinty Liberals would pay attention to what is going on in the rest of Ontario.

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  8. OWR — I modified your comment at 11:24am slightly for legal reasons because I use my real name.

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  9. you are quite right Sandy.our son john was treated at thistletown as outpatient,day treatment and finally as resident for 31 years.He lives at home now as he is no longer aggressive.He was to be moved into a group home but his mother and i felt he would not do well there.if thistletown had not been available i don’t know what we would have done.through working with staff and staff psychiatrists his extreme behaviors were stopped and he is a joy in our lives.Don McBurney[ex-chairman FFACT]

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  10. Thanks Don for your comment. I understand completely. And, I worry for all those other extreme cases when there is no place for them to go to change their behaviour. We had our son and daughter-in-law over on the weekend and they were fun to be with. He now admits his earlier treatment helped him.

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  11. As a parent of a child that has gone through Thistletown and was a client for just over 10 years it is very sad to see that this Goverment wants to close the center. The reasons they used in 1995 are the same ones that they are using now. And I would wonder, they say that the people that will not have Thistletown can get there care/help from local community agencies.

    But those agencies have long waiting list.

    So what happens to the ones leaving Thistletown, do they go to the bottom of the list for services, after they have already been on many of the lists in there local agencies and could not be serviced. Or do they move to the top of the list, and if sho how unfair is that to the ones on the list.

    I would not want to be someone on the list with a child and be told we are next, and then the next call is sorry we are going to help the ones from Thistletown first so you are now number 3 or number 5 our number 20. The kids that are Thistletown are there cause they need to be there and there local community agency could not service them.

    When we were told our son has autism it was approx 1 in 2,500, in the past few weeks it was announced that it is now 1 in 88, and 1 in 52 boys that will be told they have autism. We have more and more being born, in the time it has taken you to read this another family has most likely been told there child has autism or is in the spectrum.

    Thisletown is a great place and has helped so many children, parents, siblings and extened families they are on a large piece of land with a lot of it not being used. Instead of closing the center, the goverment should be looking for ways to build it up and to give more hope to all the families sitting on waiting lists.

    When the govement tried to close the center in 1995 it was wrong and they admitted it by leaving it open, and a group fought and won the battle, and won it fair and square, it is sad that the goverment thinks they need to try again. The parents of clients of Thisltetown today will recieve all the help they want from the parents of yesterday, we will stand by you cause we have the children that have proven it works, it is not broken, and it just needs to be enlarged.

    If this goverment really cared about the clients and says that they will have the services closer to home, did they stop long enought to ask the parents if they minded the drive to Thistletown, did they ask the parents if it would be good to turn there childrens lives upside down when they have something that works. No they just decided it was best for all.

    Think again, it is not good for the over 400 that recieve services, it will be hard on everyone of those 400+ clients, but it goes furhter, it will be hard on the parents of the clients it will be hard on the siblings of the client, it will be hard on the grandparents of the clients, it will be hard on the aunts, uncles and all other extended family.

    We need to band together to help those that need our help, we need to let this goverment know this is not right, and we need them to reverse this. We need the families from the past that have the succes stories, we need parents of today that know this center has helped there child and we need the parents of tomorrow, the ones that may have just been told there child is in the spertum.

    Together the past, the present and the future can SAVE THISTLETOWN!!!!

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  12. I agree Sandra Bradley. I have done what I can as I know many are doing. I wrote this post and I signed the petition. I would recommend anyone who reads this, click on the link at the end of the post and sign the petition. Plus, the parents of the 400 clients at Thistletown now, should visit their MPPs, no matter what political party they represent. If they are opposition, they can still write a letter to the Minister involved. If they are Liberal, they need to understand that by closing those services, they are NOT improving services and it is an insult to suggest they are.

    Thanks for writing Sandra. I appreciate it.

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  13. I just learned today that the McGuinty government will soon cancel a very important ODSP program for adults with disabilities who receive monthly living benefits. Now, if they need to move, they can get the last months rent ahead of time. Or, if they find competitive employment, they can qualify for a $500.00 grant to pay for work clothes like work boots, etc. So, the Ontario Liberal government is trying to save money from the most vulnerable in our society to pay for wind subsidies. Unbelievable. They obviously expect that the disabled won’t speak out. Well, as soon as I get proof or if anyone else gets proof, I will definitely speak out. Sacrificing the needs of the disabled to pay for wind turbines that no one wants and that are completely unrealiable and unsustainable financially.

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