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PCs Must Extend Services for Vulnerable Youth Who Age-Out During Pandemic

WINNIPEG - Manitoba Liberals say no one who is vulnerable should have their supports cut off during the pandemic just because they turn 18.

Dougald Lamont, MLA for St. Boniface and Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party, said the Pallister Government should suspend the practice of canceling supports for vulnerable people and families when people "age out" of care.

Examples of "aging out" that happen under the current system include:

- Support payments to children in the child welfare system who are turning 18 or 21

- Supports for families and children with disabilities are often eliminated when the young person turns 18

- People with Type 1 diabetes supports for insulin pumps for when they turn 18. Manitoba is the only province that doesn't cover insulin pumps for people of all ages.

"No one who is vulnerable should have their supports cut off during the pandemic just because they turn 18," said Lamont.

The Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth support the same calls as The Child Welfare League of Canada, A Way Home Canada, and The Children's Aid Foundation of Canada made last week. Manitoba Liberals echo the same calls for the Pallister Government to immediately:

• Indefinitely suspend legislated age cut-offs for youth reaching the age of majority

• Provide free, accessible mental health services and maintain family and cultural connections for youth in and from care

• Reach out to those who have recently transitioned out of care and offer additional supports for their survival, with no eligibility criteria or conditions attached

• Not turn away youth seeking housing and services

Manitoba Liberals say with so much economic uncertainty and layoffs, it would be completely irresponsible to allow youth receiving needed government supports to stop receiving them at this time.

"The pandemic should not be a government's excuse to do less. It is more important than ever, when people are losing their supports, for the government to keep the supports it provides in place," said Lamont.


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