Manitoba government expands supports, offers higher wages in disabilities sector

Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson appears in the chamber in the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS / David Lipnowski

The Manitoba government is boosting funding to programs that serve people with disabilities.

Roughly $80 million will go toward helping service agencies pay higher wages to front-line workers, starting at $19 an hour.

That’s an increase of almost $4 an hour from last year’s provincial budget.

Another $21 million is being set aside to expand the capacity of the Community Living Disability Services, which helps people with intellectual disabilities live in their home communities.

The Progressive Conservative government has been making an array of spending announcements following its budget released two weeks ago, which contained almost $2 billion in new spending.

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Premier Heather Stefanson says the government recognizes that agencies have faced challenges in attracting and retaining workers.

“We also acknowledge the critical and meaningful work done by direct service workers, and how a wage should reflect the importance of the work that they do,” Stefanson said Tuesday.

The Tories face an election slated for Oct. 3 and have been trailing the Opposition New Democrats in opinion polls.

Click to play video: 'Settlement would end lawsuit over care at Manitoba centre for people with intellectual disabilities'
Settlement would end lawsuit over care at Manitoba centre for people with intellectual disabilities

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