Catherine Clark-Turnquist has acknowledged she's lost her fight to stop the provincial government from cutting the $5 million it spends on early intensive behavioural intervention for autistic children. But Ms. Clark-Turnquist said that government will continue to hear from her and other parents who have lobbied against that decision. In an interview on Public Eye Radio, said they'll be holding a candlelight vigil later this month at the legislature to mark the shutdown of the intervention program at Queen Alexandra Hospital - which takes effect on January 29.
Ms. Clark-Turnquist said she wants to "remind the government that this is a very unfair and very, frankly, cruel decision."
She acknowledged the shutdown will mean every family with an autistic child will get an extra $2,000 in government funding per year for a total of $22,000.
But Ms. Clark-Turnquist that funding comes at "a catastrophic human cost. And I think Minister Polak is hoping that - come January 31 - this whole episode will be over. But, as far as I'm concerned, this is just round one."
"I think our group of parents has coalesced into a fighting force. And I think we're committed to carrying on trying to advocate for not just our own children but children on the spectrum and trying to get them adequate services."
Ms. Clark-Turnquist said a firm date for the vigil has yet to be set.
The government's early intensive behavioural intervention program currently serves 70 children - including Ms. Clark-Turniquist's son.