Disability Support Provider CEO Blocks Families and Cashes In
Meet Bridget Fewtrell. Fewtrell is the CEO of ErinOak which is a regional support provider to disabled children in Ontario. She describes herself on social media as "Love for Canada, family, children, life and animals. Passionate about integrity and our collective responsibility to one another." This is her salary in which the tax payers of Ontario pay to her:
For some time now parents of the disabled have been up in arms with ErinOak because of them lagging in working with them to ensure services they provide to disabled children are relevant, ethical and full of integrity especially coming out of the pandemic as many families had very little to no support over the past year and a half. I know of quite a few service complaints about ErinOak from other parents. When parents took to twitter to complain about the lack of engagement ErinOak has with parents and caregivers, Fewtrell responded like this:
A big issue right now in the system of supports is that board rooms of these providers are cashing in, while families are left with being on wait lists and limited support - especially over the pandemic - to subsidize the outrageous paychecks and privilege of decision makers in the system. Families are consistently left with completely ignorant, rude, and discriminating responses when trying to approach these individuals with concerns and it's not just specific to ErinOak. It's across the board. That's not very full of integrity, is it? One would think that people making close to a half a million dollars in salary would be more responsive to the concerns of the people they serve.
Over the next several months I'm going to get very loud regarding what it's like to be a caregiver or a person with a disability and have to constantly fight illegal profiling and discrimination within the system of supports, and how these people are getting away with it. I've already given some tips in a recent blog on how to protect yourself when dealing with any agency or their staff. The system needs to change, and so does the flow of taxpayer’s money in order to fix it. There should be a cap on executive salaries at these organizations, and the savings passed on to families in need of support.
Moreover, the system should be fixed, built, and run by people who have lived experiences with disabilities, and whom can be more understanding of what us families and people with disabilities go through. The voices of those with lived experiences within the system of support should outweigh any others when looking at fixing all of this.
It's not like the Ontario Government doesn't know what the problem is. Over the past 5 years both the Liberal and the PC governments in Ontario have recognized that there are significant issues within the support system for the disabled, however neither has come up with a viable plan, legislation, or policy to fix it. So, until that changes, kick over every rock these people try to hide under, expose the ignorance, keep voicing your concerns until these people with privilege start doing their jobs or government works to purge these people out of the system completely. Discrimination is illegal, so should be the blocking of the public who pay for a salary worth close to a half a million dollars. The system and those working within it, need to be accountable to the public, and government must commit to that as a first step in working to resolve a very broken support system, and one that is very adversarial to their client base.