Manitoba New Democratic Party
DMV2016 asked each leader after the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Debate, "What is your message to DMV2016 supporters before Election Day?"
Priority Issue: A Fully Accessible Manitoba
Is your party committed to the full and timely implementation of the Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) that was passed with all party support in December 2013?
Will your party commit to establishing standards in the following areas during the next term in office: employment, transportation, information and communication, and built environment?
What will your party do to ensure that organizations follow the standards that are developed?
- Our NDP government has made steady progress towards building a fully accessible Manitoba, where all abilities are valued, diversity and independence are celebrated, barriers are removed and human rights are protected.
- The PCs did not even appoint a Minister Responsible for People with Disabilities when they were last in government.
- We want to remove barriers for persons with disabilities, whether that means making buildings more accessible or improving employment practices.
- We formed the Manitoba Accessibility Advisory Council with representatives from organizations of people with disabilities, businesses and municipalities to make recommendations on future accessibility legislation. Their recommendations are the basis of The Accessibility for Manitobans Act.
- In December 2013,we passed the Accessibility for Manitobans Act, historic legislation that sets out a collaborative, long-term plan for making Manitoba barrier free.
- Our government committed to implementing standards in the areas of customer service, employment, transportation, information and communications, and built environment .
- We are making steady progress on these standards with the Accessibility Advisory Council: The customer service standards were released recently and work on the employment standards are well underway.
- If re-elected, we will work with the community to ensure all areas had robust standards as soon as possible
- This summer, we announced a regulation identifying deadlines to prepare accessibility plans:
- 2016 is the deadline for government and larger public sector organizations, Crown corporations, universities and colleges, regional health authorities and larger municipalities.
- 2017 is the deadline for smaller municipalities, agencies, boards and commissions.
- Going forward the NDP will support our schools, hospitals, colleges, universities to undertake capital projects necessary to improve standards. Brian Palliser’s commitment to cuts puts these improvements at risk.
Priority Issue: Fair Wages for those Serving Manitobans with Intellectual Disabilities
What will your party do to ensure a stable, fairly paid and qualified work force providing service to Manitobans with intellectual disabilities?
Will your party commit to eliminating the wage disparities currently in place for Disability Support Workers?
Will you party commit to implementing standards and equitable wages for all Disability Support Workers comparable with other caring professions in Manitoba?
- In January 2014, we established a special fund of $6 million over three years to increase wages for support workers at agencies that offer care for adults with intellectual disabilities.
- If re-elected, we will continue to increase wages to help agencies attract and retain quality employees who work with adults who have complex needs.
- We are making steady progress on a study into Day Services that asked families and participants for their input. This study will include recommendations to the funding model. If re-elected, we will commit to implementing wage and funding levels that encourage recruitment and retention of quality staff.
- We are the only political party that has made a commitment to raise the minimum wage which will also help raise wages for all workers.
- Other political parties have promised corporate giveaways that will mean cuts to important wage enhancements for workers.
Priority Issue: Timely Access to Services for Manitobans with Disabilities and their Families
What will your party do to ensure the comprehensive reduction of wait times for disability services?
Will your party commit to a transparent and accountable system of measuring and publicly reporting on progress towards reductions in wait times for disability services?
- Our NDP government has made steady progress in recruiting and retaining doctors and health professionals.
- Every year we have seen a net increase in doctors in our province. We reversed the Conservatives' cuts to training spaces so more doctors and nurses are now graduating and staying in Manitoba,
- We have 732 more doctors now that when we saw them leaving our province under the Filmon government.
- A re-elected NDP government will double the number of QuickCare clinics in Manitoba, from eight to 16, and extend operating hours at every Quick Care clinic in the province helping to take pressure off emergency rooms and reduce wait times.
- We will also invest in a significant increase in personal care homes.
- We worked hard to launch the building on abilities initiative to improve our Community Living disABILITY Services.The overall intent of the initiative is to create a fair, equitable, and transparent service to support more people. To make sure people get the support they need, the new initiative will:
- Use a person centered planning approach
- Make sure that people get the right supports for their needs o Create a system that is fair,efficient,and effective
- Serve more people, including those waiting for services
- Support people to lead meaningful lives in welcoming communities
- Improve the array of services offered to better meet the needs of clients.
- Reduce wait times and expand residential service options by investing in independent living resources, home sharing, cooperative housing and cluster apartment living.
Priority Issue: Unleashing the Employment Potential of Persons with Disabilities
What will your party do to ensure equity in employment for Manitobans with disabilities within the Government of Manitoba?
What will your party do realize employment potential of persons with disabilities within the broader provincial economy?
What will your party do to ensure that Manitobans with disabilities are promoted to the business community as valuable and viable contributers to the workforce?
- We believe that everyone matters and everyone should have equality of opportunity. If re-elected the NDP will continue to work hard with the community to promote inclusion of Manitobans with disabilities into the workforce across 211 sectors.
- We know that a diverse civil service allows us to better represent and serve the citizens of our province. Diversity is an important component of our civil service renewal efforts and a value of the Manitoba NDP.
- We set a target for 7% of the civil service to be Manitobans living with disabilities. We met that target, and recently increased this target to 9%.We will continue to diversify the civil service in our next term.
- Last year, our NDP government helped launch a pilot program at Red River College to provide people with intellectual disabilities with new educational opportunities that can help them transition into good jobs.
- This 20-student Transforming Futures program includes hands-on learning in career exploration, essential employability skills and full integration into programming if a student chooses this option.
- Manitoba social enterprises, such as BUILD and lmagineAbility, have a proven track record of helping people - who may have never held a job - enter the workforce. We worked hard with social enterprises to create a comprehensive strategy to grow the sector and create more first jobs. We will also continue to support community enterprises with an enhanced tax credit. Going forward we will support social entries expansion with a new $10 million loan fund.
- We are also helping people with disabilities find and keep jobs with:
- A new fund to support projects that help people with disabilities living in rural and northern communities secure and maintain employment.
- Access to communications technology for over 1,000 Manitobans with impaired speech.
- "See the Ability," a multi-media campaign targeted to encourage employers to hire Manitobans based on what they can do, not what they can't.
- Increased the Rewarding Volunteer Benefit from $50 to $100/month for people with disabilities on assistance, to offset costs of volunteering like clothing, transportation or child care.
- We repealed Section 85 of The Employment Standards Code that allowed employees with disabilities to be paid less than the minimum wage.
- A re-elected NDP government is committed to increase the minimum wage by at least 50 cents each year and build more social housing including accessible housing.
Priority Issue: Dignified Incomes for Persons with Disabilities Facing the Most Profound Barriers to Workforce Participation
What income level does your party see as being socially acceptable for Manitobans with severe and prolonged disabilities who face profound barriers to labour market success?
Will your party commit to introducing an alternative income program for Manitobans with severe and prolonged disabilities during the next term in office?
- The NDP has increased Income Assistance for Persons with Disabilities by 30%.
- Going forward the NDP is committed to working towards creating a pension-like income program for persons with disabilities who cannot work.
- Today's NDP will take significant steps to continue tackling poverty by increasing the minimum wage by at least 50 cents per year, and making sustained, strategic investments in housing, child care, mental health, basic needs, and training.
- We fully implemented RentAssist, a portable benefit that provides financial benefits to 75 per cent of median market rent for people who pay more than 25 per cent of their income on rent. It offers more choice, opportunity and social inclusion to low income earners in Manitoba and those on social assistance.
- Our government worked hard to develop thousands of new social and affordable housing units for families, including over 250 accessible
- Manitoba Housing units for low-income persons with disabilities. When Brian Palliser was in cabinet, his government did not build a single unit of affordable housing. This creates even more barriers for people with disabilities who have a harder time finding a place to live.