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Campbell vows to fight for better funding for Children and Youth Services
Sarah Campbell, MPP
Sarah Campbell MPP, Kenora-Rainy River, committed today to pushing for immediate action to rectify funding inadequacies in the Children and Youth Services sector, particularly in the north.
With the Canadian Union of Public Employees, who represent children and youth services workers in the region, spearheading a public awareness campaign aimed at forcing the province to eliminate the funding shortfall for these vital services Campbell today committed to pushing the provincial government for immediate action on the file.
The funding gap is particularly pronounced in Northwestern Ontario where the government failed to properly fund a merger between the Kenora and Rainy River Child and Family services, making the gap even wider, says Campbell.
“We in the north, understand how difficult it is to do business. We face geographical and logistical challenges that aren’t even heard of in Southern Ontario and it is disgraceful that decisions on essential government services continue to be made by Southern Ontario decision-makers who have no knowledge of the logistical nightmare they create when they treat us the same as service providers in Southern Ontario,” states Campbell.
While Campbell acknowledges that the province’s fiscal position makes cost cutting steps necessary, she says the government crosses the line when these cuts affect frontline services.
“We all understand the need for fiscal restraint, especially in the current economic climate we have in Ontario. That is why members of the Keewatin Patricia District Child and Family Services and the Rainy River District Child and Family Services organizations elected to voluntarily merge. But the province needs to meet them half way and needs to financially assist with the merger,” she notes.
Campbell says the funding shortfall is a perfect opportunity for Premier Kathleen Wynne to show she understands the unique challenges facing Northern Ontario service providers.
“We have a new Premier in Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, who has made trips to our region and has at least a basic understanding of our unique geography and the logistical challenges we face. She claims to understand northern needs and northern values. This is her opportunity to prove it,” she explains.
Campbell points out there was no funding shortfall when the Liberals chose to pursue their own selfish priorities, now it is time to focus on the province’s.
“Our children and youth are not commodities. They can’t trim their needs to facilitate fiscal restraint. We have a Liberal government in place that felt it was wise and responsible to waste hundreds of millions of dollars to cancel two gas plants to win a handful of ridings during the last election. What about our children?”