Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg, MB - Manitoba Liberals are calling for an immediate increase in funding to ensure women and children fleeing domestic violence in Manitoba have shelter, which has been cut or frozen since before the PCs were even elected.
Dougald Lamont, Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface, said he has spoken to secondary housing organizations whose funding has been frozen for fifteen years. Such shelters provide interim, but stable housing once women and children escape emergency shelters, for up to a year.
Statistics show Manitoba women face violence from their partners at a rate eight times the national average, and Indigenous women are 2.7 times more likely to be murdered. It's also known that there was an increase in women and families facing domestic violence and abuse during the pandemic, but funding has dropped.
The Manitoba PC Government's Annual Report for the Department of Families shows that:
While calls to women's shelter crisis limes have grown by over 2,000 calls in the last three years, funding has been cut by $241,000 compared to two years ago
Funding for Second Stage Housing has been frozen at $571,000 for the last three years
Specialized programs, which have seen clients increase by 50% since 2019/20, from 2,297 to 3,495, the PCs cut funding from $2.6-million to $1.8-million.
"I don't have words to describe how appalling this is. No one should have to choose between being abused and being homeless, but that is a choice that women face because the Manitoba Government has refused to ensure they have a safe place to go. This needs to change immediately, and if women and children in crisis have to stay in a hotel, the government needs to pick up the tab."
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