Friday October 9, in Question Period I asked about the severe cut backs to Manitoba's home care program during the pandemic. As you will see below the Minister of Health completely failed to even address the question. This failure to address the question is unbecoming of a Minister of Health. Rather than address the question, he bragged about the government's response to the COVID-19 epidemic. His bragging is poorly times for it is increasingly apparent that the Pallister government was woefully unprepared for the second wave of the pandemic.
COVID-19 and Home-Care
Timing of Funding Changes
Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, in the name of austerity and in spite of increased spending from Ottawa, the Pallister government has made deep, deep cuts into Manitoba's Home Care program. These cuts are so severe that families who were once able to rely on Home Care for their physically or mentally struggling loved ones now report to me that the program has essentially collapsed compared to what it was.
Why has the Premier (Mr. Pallister) eviscerated Manitoba's Home Care program at the very time when it was so critically needed during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Hon. Cameron Friesen (Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living): All members of the House know that this government's response in COVID-19 came quickly; it came early; it has been comprehensive. We have even gained the encouragement from members on the other side who said, way to go, this is a good response. We've received those messages.
Those members know that we have redeployed workforce, that we have sought, right now, to restart our surgeries and procedures and diagnostics to bring those wait times down. We have done massive work to stand up capacity. We have brought co-visitation shelters to keep seniors safe in personal-care homes.
I regret the fact that the time doesn't allow me to continue to talk about all the ways in which we are expanding on our response to COVID-19.