April 8, 2020

Winnipeg
3° C, Partly cloudy

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

NDP talks home care, Liberals make education pledge

NDP leader Wab Kinew makes a home care announcement with Peter (left) and Esther Hiebert in the couple's home in Winnipeg on Sunday. (Mikaela MacKenzie/ Winnipeg Free Press)

NDP leader Wab Kinew makes a home care announcement with Peter (left) and Esther Hiebert in the couple's home in Winnipeg on Sunday. (Mikaela MacKenzie/ Winnipeg Free Press)

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/9/2019 (219 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Provincial NDP Leader Wab Kinew announced he would cancel $15.7 million in private home-care contracts, which the Pallister government introduced in 2017, and put the money into public home care.

The contracts with WeCare and ParaMed Home Health Care expire in 2020. Kinew said they cost much more and provide lower-quality service than the $1.7-million annual hospital home team home care program that the Conservatives cancelled two years ago.

"Mr. Pallister has moved much more aggressively toward privatization," Kinew said in the Fort Garry living room of a couple who receive home care. "The NDP has always tried to strengthen the public health care system. Pallister, going back to (former premier Gary) Filmon, they’ve tried to privatize. And we think that’s the wrong approach."

Kinew, flanked by Fort Garry candidate Mark Wasyliw, said public home care doesn't need a profit. The redirected funds would be used to boost wages and training of home care workers, and lead to less turnover.

The Conservatives criticized the NDP approach; a spokesperson for health minister Cameron Friesen said, "Wab Kinew and the NDP are more concerned about whether home care workers have union cards than ensuring people get the treatment they need when they need it."

"To be clear, the priority home program expanded on the previous hospital home team program," the statement continued. "By every measure, the program has been a success."

With just over a week until election day, the NDP has entered a pivotal stage of its campaign to form government.

A Probe Research poll commissioned by CTV and the Free Press showed the Conservatives led the NDP by an 11-point margin among decided and leaning voters provincewide (40 per cent to 29 per cent). But in Winnipeg, which has 32 of 57 constituencies, Kinew’s party trailed the PCs by a single percentage point.

"The old adage is that you only believe the polls on election day," Kinew told reporters. "I think a lot can change in this next week."

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh greets supporters before the Nagar Kirtan parade on the grounds of the Manitoba legislature Sunday. (Mikaela MacKenzie/ Winnipeg Free Press)

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh greets supporters before the Nagar Kirtan parade on the grounds of the Manitoba legislature Sunday. (Mikaela MacKenzie/ Winnipeg Free Press)

Sunday afternoon, the party got a boost when federal leader Jagmeet Singh made an appearance at the legislature. Singh participated in the city’s celebration of Nagar Kirtan, a Sikh custom. Singh, who is the first Sikh federal leader in Canada, addressed the crowd of thousands.

The Nagar Kirtan parade winds its way through downtown Winnipeg on Sunday. The celebration is meant to spread the message of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji (the principal scripture of Sikhism) to the community. (Mikaela MacKenzie/ Winnipeg Free Press)

The Nagar Kirtan parade winds its way through downtown Winnipeg on Sunday. The celebration is meant to spread the message of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji (the principal scripture of Sikhism) to the community. (Mikaela MacKenzie/ Winnipeg Free Press)

Singh, alongside Kinew and a number of NDP candidates, mingled with the crowd, which filled the entire legislative grounds. Candidates from other parties, including Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont, were nearby.

"Here in Manitoba, we’ve seen the Conservatives cut health care and education," Singh told the crowd. "This election is about choosing someone on your side."

Liberals announce education plan

Also on Sunday, the Liberal party announced its "zero-barrier" plan for post-secondary education.

It includes boosting funding to the provincial access program by $5 million, which amounts to a 50 per cent increase over the current level.

Leader Dougald Lamont said his party would guarantee a tuition freeze relative to inflation, reform eligibility requirements for student aid and introduce measures to recruit more women into trades and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs. The party didn’t provide cost estimates to achieve those ends.

Liberal leader Dougald Lamont makes an education funding announcement in Winnipeg on Sunday. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

Liberal leader Dougald Lamont makes an education funding announcement in Winnipeg on Sunday. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press)

Lamont was joined by Tanjit Nagra, the party’s candidate in Fort Richmond who is a two-time president of the University of Manitoba Students’ Union. Nagra said during her time at UMSU, during the Pallister government’s term, tuition increased at a five per cent plus inflation.

The Liberal plan, Lamont said, would freeze tuition, making a degree more affordable and attainable. He said the current student aid program has too many barriers, forcing many would-be applicants to take loans.

"Basically, right now, all sorts of people who want a degree can’t get one," Lamont said. He also pointed to his party’s guaranteed minimum income proposal as a means of making post-secondary education more accessible.

The NDP said the party has promised a tuition freeze and the restoration of access bursaries.

ben.waldman@freepress.mb.ca

Ben Waldman

Ben Waldman
Reporter

Ben Waldman covers a little bit of everything for the Free Press.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

The Free Press would like to thank our readers for their patience while comments were not available on our site. We're continuing to work with our commenting software provider on issues with the platform. In the meantime, if you're not able to see comments after logging in to our site, please try refreshing the page.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us