Thousands of Manitobans Without Birth Certificates Because of Government Cuts

October 12, 2021

Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg MB— Manitoba’s Vital Statistics Agency issued 20,000 fewer birth certificates in 2020/21 than in previous years, putting a number to the cost of the PC’s staffing cuts at the agency.

“Manitobans shouldn’t have to wait for years to get the basic government documents they need to travel, get married, have a child or become a citizen,” said NDP Finance Critic Mark Wasyliw. “The PC government has used cut staff at this agency through vacancy management, and its made life harder and more complicated for regular families. The Pallister PC’s penny-pinching approach to government hurts Manitobans.”

The Annual Report of the province’s Vital Statistics Agency shows it issued 20,000 fewer birth certificates in the last fiscal year than in 2017/18, and several thousand fewer than what the agency typically issues.

New parents, new Canadians and others that they are waiting months and sometimes even years to get a copy of a birth certificate. The certificate is critical to obtaining other government documents, like a passport, and is necessary when getting married, applying for citizenship and sometimes even confirming employment.

In a budget committee last week the Finance Minister confirmed the Agency has a 32% vacancy rate. It has struggled with slow processing times and a growing backlog since even before the pandemic.