July 18, 2017
Lamont: Pallister's Cuts Target Women First.
Winnipeg, MB - Dougald Lamont, who is running for leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party, says that women will bear the brunt of the pain from PC Premier Brian Pallister’s indiscriminate cuts to everything from health care to rental assistance.
Despite promises to spare “front-line services” Pallister’s wide ranging cuts are being felt province-wide: ER and urgent care closures in Winnipeg ambulance services in rural Manitoba, occupational therapists and physiotherapists’ are being fired and their services privatized, and nurses and doctors, are being asked to reapply for their jobs.
Lamont said that Pallister’s cuts appeared to have a disproportionate impact on women of all ages from seniors, caregivers and workers to new mothers.
Lamont said he was shocked when he heard the PCs were going to eliminate lactation consultants and force new mothers to pay for their own feminine hygiene products in hospital immediately after childbirth. For years, medical experts have been encouraging mothers to breastfeed because of the long-term benefits to the child’s development and health.
“Does anyone in the Manitoba Government seriously believe that denying care to mothers and infants recovering from childbirth in hospital is the key to balancing the budget?” said Lamont. “Pallister is committing medical, political and economic malpractice. This will all cost more in the long run.”
Lamont said that targeting mothers and newborns is just one example of the ways in which the PCs cuts will have a greater impact on women.
Pallister is closing the Mature Women’s Health Centre at the Victoria Hospital, which sees 5,000 patients and takes another 3,000 calls per year.
The PCs have cut rent assist, a program that helps the working poor keep a roof over their head. It will put many at risk of homelessness, but single parent households, which are predominantly single mothers, will get the worst of it. The income threshold to qualify has dropped, and over 150 households have already been affected.
The PCs made a major campaign promise to build new personal care home beds - which has now been broken. A planned facility in Lac du Bonnet
cancelled. Because women are more likely to care for older family members, the cancellation of personal care home beds directly impacts women who shoulder a greater burden caring for loved ones.was
“People voted PC because they thought they would clean up the NDPs mess, but they’re making it worse than ever.” said Lamont. “Pallister says that these cuts have to happen - but he could afford to vote himself a raise and a tax cut. Everyone pays but Pallister.”
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