Budget does not address needs of Manitobans
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This article was published 22/04/2021 (770 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The provincial government released its 2021 budget on April 7, and what I am hearing from the residents in Tyndall Park is that there was a lot missing in terms of addressing the needs of Manitobans during a pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic, it has become evident that we need more money invested in our mental health resources. More attention needs to be brought to a Pharmacare program ensuring Manitobans are not having to choose between shelter, food and prescribed medications. And it is imperative that nurses have a new contract, as they have been working without one for over four years.
The budget also does not address the needs of Manitoba’s early childhood education and K to 12 education system. It is going to be critical to our post-pandemic recovery that families can go back to work and right now, these resources are not in place.
Our K to 12 teachers and school administrators have gone above and beyond and done an incredible job of adapting to keep students safe and educated. In meetings with several school divisions, we have heard they are facing significant shortfalls — including being able to adequately assist children with learning disabilities. Yet recently, the premier said he thinks it’s right for teachers to have to spend their own money on supplies for their classrooms. This statement is completely unacceptable.
Post-secondary students are being affected, too. There should be a limit on tuition increases and the province should consult with students. We have an opportunity to attract more students and future residents by investing in universities and colleges and make them more attractive, rather than deterring students from attending.
It is clear that senior care and long-term care need major reforms that were not reflected in the budget. In the short term, there must be investments in increasing staffing for seniors’ homes to ensure people are receiving proper care, as well as investment in home care and home repair to enable seniors to stay at home in their communities longer. I also have found there is a lot of support for the creation of an independent office for a seniors’ advocate that could help address these needs.
The provincial government also refuses to work with the federal government, which has resulted in Manitoba missing out on tens of millions of dollars, while other provinces are reaping the benefits. I am hopeful the government will consider making some adjustments.
If you have thoughts to share with me, please do not hesitate to reach out by emailing me at email@example.com or calling my office at 204-615-9961.
Tyndall Park constituency report
Cindy Lamoureux is the Liberal MLA for Tyndall Park.