Woman charged for alleged threats against Lisa Macleod

Ottawa Police say a woman has been charged for alleged threats to Social Services Minister Lisa Macleod.

Macleod did not attend a protest in Toronto on Thursday by parents of children with autism after receiving threats.

The accused is facing three counts of uttering threats and one count of criminal harassment. According to the Premier’s office, the woman sent threats via email and telephone calls over the last few weeks.

Macleod has been under fire for changes to Ontario’s autism program that were unveiled in February. Families say the changes will leave children without access to the level of treatment they need. The revamped program scraps the model from the previous Liberal government, and aims to clear the wait list of 23,000 children by providing direct funding.

The government has described the program as means-tested. Those with an adjusted annual net family income of under $55,000 will be eligible for the full amounts, with funding determined on a sliding scale up to a maximum of a $250,000 income. For a family whose child enters the program at the minimum age of two, a total of up to $140,000 will be available over the 16 years the child is eligible for support. Families will receive up to $20,000 a year until their child turns six, with funding dropping to $5,000 every year after that until they turn 18.

The new program kicks in on April 1.