OTTAWA -- Ontario's social services minister, who has been under fire over changes to autism funding, is now travelling with a provincial police detail following alleged threats.

Children, Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod did not attend a large protest over the autism program at the legislature Thursday because of concerns about her personal safety.

The families and advocates of children with autism say a new program MacLeod is ushering in will mean many kids won't get enough funding to pay for proper levels of therapy.

MacLeod's office says threats included ones on her life and came through social media and by phone to her constituency office.

Ottawa police have charged Rebecca Reid, 41, with criminal harassment and three counts of uttering threats.

MacLeod spokesman Derek Rowland says the minister was speaking at an International Women's Day event in Ottawa today when her OPP detail decided she should leave immediately following her remarks, though he did not give a reason.