Close to 800 clients with learning disabilities will need to find new support after the local chapter of the Learning Disabilities Association closes on June 17.
This is the second time in three years the chapter has had to shut down because of lack of funding and a steady increase in its client base. In 2010-11 the chapter has provided support for 788 clients compared to 470 clients in 2009-10.
Sheryl Krill, executive director, said the continuous cuts in education has had a cascading effect that trickles down the line putting tremendous strain on non-profits and other organizations to pick up the load and it is just too much for some.
Krill was one of about 30 who attended the Join Together Alberta town hall meeting at the Golden Circle Seniors Center last night.
Red Deer was the first stop on the seven city tour of town hall meetings scheduled across the province. In leading up to the next provincial election and during the progressive conservative leadership race, Join Together Alberta relaunched to educate residents and to advocate for better funding for vital public services including education, health care and social services.
Bill Moore-Kilgannon, executive director, Public Interest Alberta said this story illustrates these cuts in services are impacting Red Deer and in the long run are going to cost the community more and the taxpayers even more.
Gil McGowan, co-chairman of Join Together Alberta and president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, said given the current strength of the economy, the provincial government should not be considering cuts or freezes to vital services like education and health care. He said the irresponsible cuts to corporate taxes and taxes for high income earners coupled with ongoing cuts to royalties has essentially blown a hole in the revenue base the province needs to fund things like education and other health care services.
“The answer isn’t to cut the services Albertans need to build a stronger foundation for the future,” he said.
The solution is to fix the holes in our revenue base by rethinking the cuts to profitable corporations, tax give aways to high earners and higher royalties.
“Fixing the holes that have been blown in our revenue base is the real pressing for our legislature going forward,” said McGowan. “It is at the root of everything. Politicians always talk about health care about education but all of these things are based on the foundation of our revenue base.”
The next town hall meeting is scheduled for tonight in Medicine Hat.