The number of Manitobans on Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) has hit an all-time high of over seventy thousand people.
According to annual reports from the Province's Department of Families, the number of people on EIA has been growing for ten years and hit 71,977 in 2017-2018. That is up by nearly 20% from 2009-10 when there were 58,874 people on EIA in Manitoba.
Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface, Dougald Lamont says the situation will only get worse because the Pallister government's only plan for poverty and the economy is more cuts.
To make matters worse, Lamont says the PCs and NDP alike have run an EIA system defined by neglect that has failed for a generation.
In 1992-93, the PC government introduced punishing welfare reforms that rolled back some rates to 1986 levels and froze them there. The same policies and rates have stayed on the books under PC and NDP governments for years.
New Freedom of Information (FIPPA) numbers show that people with disabilities, mental illness, parents with children and others who fall into poverty may have seen virtually no increase in provincial benefits in 30 years:
"The goal needs to be lifting people out of poverty. We need to overhaul EIA so that people can live in dignity, get training and work, but we also need to create better jobs for everyone, because there have to be jobs to apply for," said Lamont.