Statement from Dougald Lamont, Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party and MLA for St. Boniface, in response to the PCs financial support to Manitobans receiving monthly benefits under the disability category of EIA:
“Providing a one-time $200 payment to people living with disabilities on income assistance is welcome, but totally inadequate. Under the PCs and NDP alike, basic needs funding for people on income assistance is less today than it was over three decades ago.
In 1992, Brian Pallister was part of a PC government that rolled back EIA rates, then called welfare, to 1986 levels and froze them there. The NDP left those rates the same for the 17 years they had a majority government. The PCs and NDP shameful neglect of the most vulnerable people in our province is the reason we have such deep poverty.
We have said many times that Manitoba’s EIA system is sadistic in the way it treats recipients. It is a system designed to punish people for their poverty, including people with disabilities.
The PCs are tinkering with a system that has failed Manitobans for a generation. We need to reform the EIA system entirely so that people can live and work with dignity.
Manitoba Liberals believe a combination of Mincome and a job guarantee that would provide people with temporary work in the public interest need to replace our current system.”