WINNIPEG – The MLA for St. Boniface and Manitoba Liberal Party Leader, Dougald Lamont, says the Pallister government’s decision to cut staff from a youth addictions treatment program is a sign of dysfunction and disconnect on the part of the province in the midst of a meth epidemic.
The Liberal party says, in the last few months, the Pallister government has eliminated fifty percent of the clinical staff at the Addiction Foundation of Manitoba (AFM’s) Compass Youth Program in Portage la Prairie.
In a release, Liberal's indicate the budget for addictions has dropped by $1-million compared to four years ago, and mental health has a shortfall of $26.6-million compared to what the government promised earlier this year. This is despite $40-million a year in new funding from the federal government dedicated to homecare and mental health for the next ten years.
“What we’re seeing is a government that is cutting back even as they are promising to act, so at the end of the day, we aren’t any further ahead,” said Lamont. “The deeper problem is that the province is effectively denying proper care to people who need treatment the most.”
Lamont says the Compass program can refuse admission to a young person who has no “family supports,” no “confirmed place of residence upon discharge,” or any involvement in the justice system.