The Pallister Government needs to guarantee supports for children with special needs, not cut them, NDP Families Critic Nahanni Fontaine said today. The Pallister government recently paused funding to the Child Care Inclusion Support Program during a review, only to restore it after significant pressure from parents and families.
“We are deeply concerned with how the Pallister government tried to cut important supports for the most vulnerable in our society. Today, we are calling on the Pallister government to assure Manitoba families that their so-called review will be used to enhance supports and expand eligibility for children with special needs and not be a smokescreen for further cuts,” said Fontaine.
The Pallister government has announced that it is reviewing the Child Care Inclusion Support program. Yet recent reviews of government programs have resulted in cuts such as the closure of hospitals and the dismissal of hundreds of front-line workers.
“Manitobans have spoken strongly. Supports for vulnerable children are off-limits to this government’s agenda of cuts and austerity. We demand that the Minister clearly commit to making sure the criteria remain available for all children who are in need and supports for children are strengthened.”
Manitoba recently signed a federal agreement with Ottawa that will bring millions of dollars for Manitoba child care. Fontaine also called on the government to use this funding for new initiatives.
“The province is getting new resources to enhance programming, yet they paused supports for children with special needs. Every single dollar of that federal funding should be used to enhance supports and expand eligibility, not backfill programming the Minister wants to cut.”