The Pas MLA Amanda Lathlin spoke in the Manitoba legislature recently on child care funding levels in Manitoba.
According to Lathlin the provincial government has shortchanged child and family services authorities even though the number of children in care exceeds eleven thousand and this year’s budget does not come close to what the government spent this past year on children in care and in the past year the government budgeted nearly 513 million dollars for children in care which Lathlin says is not enough.
Lathlin accused one of the ministers of failing to adequately consult with indigenous child welfare agencies before a system wide implementation of block funding and as a result indigenous children in care could be at risk due to inadequate funding. Lathlin asked the Government many times during question period if they would do the right thing and restore the funding for children in care.
Heather Stefanson, the Minister of Families responded to Lathlin by saying that budget 19-20 offers fifteen million dollars more then what will be available through block funding for authorities in CFS which will be good for children in the province and it will allow them the opportunity to use funds towards preventive measures towards reunification with families.
Stefanson added that they have worked very closely with the indigenous leadership council, indigenous authorities, the Indigenous Grandmother Leadership Council, and agencies involved in the system.
She concluded her response by saying that they have heard that Manitobans felt that the agency should be able to keep that children’s special allowance for those children and they ensure that that will happen.