April 12, 2021
Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg MB— The PC Government is making life even harder for mothers during the pandemic by cutting programs that support new and expectant mothers and promote the health and well-being of families. The Manitoba NDP has found through a Freedom of Information Request that the government has cut the Healthy Baby Prenatal Benefit, the Healthy Baby Milk Program and budgets for community-based Parent Child Coalitions.
“We know the pandemic has been hard on families, especially mothers who are so often the primary caregivers for their children,” said Malaya Marcelino, NDP Critic for the Status of Women. “At a time when mothers are feeling isolated and no longer have access to community supports like playgroups and Mom and Baby classes, the PC government is making things worse by cutting programs that help mothers keep their families healthy. This is unacceptable. The PC government needs to help mothers care for their families in this difficult time by increasing supports, not cutting.”
The Healthy Baby Prenatal benefit is an income-based monthly financial supplement that provides pregnant women between $10 -$80 per month to purchase nutritious food. The Healthy Baby Milk program provides milk coupons to families to ensure their children have access to nutritious food. Parent Child Coalitions are community-based organizations that support families and healthy parenting through education, programming, childcare and other support programs.
“We know these programs lead to healthier kids and healthier families,” said Marcelino. “These cuts will hurt families today and they will have an impact on the growth and development of Manitoba children. Mothers and parents deserve a government that supports them as they raise their kids.”