Questions Asked of Candidates
1. How have disability issues affected you and your family?
2. What do you see as being the greatest accessibility challenges within your constituency and what will you do to address these challenges?
Green Party of Manitoba Candidate - Dwight Harfield
Answer 1: I have had family members with disabilities. A lack of services really had an affect on how they lived their lives compared to how they would have like to live. These were proud working people who did not like asking for help but had a strong belief in the Canadian social system / services. Services support workers play an important role in the community and should be compensated accordingly compared to people doing similar work.
Answer 2: Underfunding of local programs for the disabled and the amalgamation of services has been a big problem. Wages and transportation would fall into the underfunding basket. When my family could get in home support services we found that the support workers had very tight schedules and were not compensated as well as direct government employees. Appropriate funding of programs and transportation would help the disabled and bring needed jobs to rural Manitoba. I believe that program underfunding has come at a significant cost: pay me here or pay me there, pay me now or pay me later. We end up spending more money elsewhere to compensate for the underfunding and have a lower level of service to boot.
As the MLA for Gimli, I will work to implement the Accessibility for Manitobans Act and ensure that it is funded appropriately. The Green part believes that all services should be decentralized with standards set through regulation but with local control over implementation. We believe that the cost to the government of higher wages comes back in greater taxes generated across the economy as more people have more money to spend. That creates more energetic and vibrant communities and more efficient delivery of services. Green candidates invest in prevention, knowing that money invested up front for fair wages and good services will save money later. Deal with the causes, not the symptoms.
The Manitoba Party Candidate - Ed Paquette
No response received
New Democratic Party Candidate - Armand Belanger
Answer 1: My dad lived with with mobility issues for the last few years of his life. Each day was a challenge, and my eyes were opened to so many services that I had no idea existed. We relied on Home Care three times a day, Handi transit to dialysis, help installing a wheel chair ramp at home, and rehabilitation sessions after neck surgery. I will forever hold a deeper appreciation for these services, the people who provide them and the need to ensure they are available to all who need them. I am running for this party to make sure we don’t turn back the cock and see reckless cuts to these services that Manitobans depend on.
Answer 2: My dad loved curling and loved spending time in the curling club, and one problem we experienced was trying to get to the second floor of the club where all the good conversations happened. He also liked going after church for coffee in the church basement. Thankfully, with our NDP government and programs like Community Places, we are seeing more and more elevators being installed in older buildings. Both St. Michaels Church and Gimli Curling Club are two examples that my dad could use because of this funding. The biggest challenge would be a threat to these programs to update older buildings. I fear that the budget cuts being proposed by other parties will put these important programs at risk.
Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba Candidate - Jeff Wharton
No response received