Rebuilding Manitoba's Public Health System

1. A system shift to prevention with a “Health Care Home” & Family Doctor for Every Manitoban

As the frontline of health care, family physicians catch small problems before they become big ones and keep patients out of crisis. Ensuring that every Manitoban has a family physician or nurse practitioner is the key to taking our health care system out of crisis for good. We know from health systems around the world that in places with more family doctors, patients are healthier and health care costs are lower. 

Manitoba Liberals will immediately improve the way we pay family physicians, nurse practitioners and all health professionals who support their work in clinics with top-ups and flexible pay for extra time and care spent with patients who need it, for working in teams, and for working in rural or remote locations. These measures will attract and retain people working in family medicine and support wraparound services at lower costs across Manitoba.

2. A Made-in-Manitoba solution to ending medical staffing shortages with new spaces for working and training in education and the health system

Manitoba Liberals will invest in education and new spaces for students and residents as part of a long-term strategy to ensure Manitobans can count on their public health system for care. Manitoba’s health care system depends on the University of Manitoba, its faculties of health, and other universities and colleges. For decades, these institutions have been critically underfunded as NDP and PC governments refused to fund the needed expansion of residencies and spaces for physicians, nurses, psychologists, and other health professionals. 

Manitoba Liberals will fund the creation of new teaching spaces and expand the number of residencies and spaces for international graduates by working with the University of Manitoba to:

  • Expand the number of new physician residencies, which will immediately increase the number of doctors working in the system.
  • Invest in a new lecture hall at the Health Sciences Centre to accommodate more students.

3. Create a new Brandon Campus of the University of Manitoba Medical School dedicated to rural and northern family medicine

To permanently address the challenges and chronic shortages in family medicine, nurses and other professions in rural Manitoba, Manitoba Liberals will fund the creation of a new University of Manitoba Campus of Rural and Northern Family Health in Brandon, in collaboration with Brandon University.

It will focus on training people who want to work in rural and northern Manitoba in family medicine, as nurse practitioners, in nursing, and EMS. The project, which has the support of the community, will especially focus on training people from rural and northern Manitoba who want to return to their home communities to practice family medicine. This will also include the expansion of community learning programs.

4. Work with the Colleges of Physicians and Nurses to ensure Manitobans with credentials can get training and be rapidly certified to work in our public system

While the PCs have been recruiting graduates from other countries, there are nurses, physicians and other graduates living in Manitoba whose credentials are being ignored. This bottleneck must be addressed. Manitoba Liberals will provide study and income supports to international graduates in Manitoba to ensure that when they move here, they can work here.

“Successive NDP and PC Governments have failed to properly plan for and invest in the education and training of health care professionals to keep up with demand. The Manitoba Liberal plan for health care addresses the gaps, particularly in rural health care, that have been left unaddressed for decades,” said Jon Gerrard, MLA for River Heights and Liberal Health Critic. 

Manitoba Liberals previously announced in April they will stabilize staffing levels with bonuses to keep and attract workers currently in the system. Nurses and health professionals who’ve stayed in the public system will be eligible for bonuses of up to $10,000; other members of health teams for bonuses up to $5,000, and $10,000 for nurses and health professionals returning to the public system for two years. Bonuses will be prorated based on the percentage of a full-time equivalent position that an employee holds and when they were hired.

Restoring Trust: Community Safety & Justice Plan Will Protect Victims, Reduce Crime

1. Protecting and Sheltering Women and Children Fleeing Domestic Violence

Up until 2023, provincial funding for domestic violence shelters for women and children was frozen for 15 years by both PC and NDP Governments alike. Manitoba Liberals will work with the Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters to increase funding to:
  • Expand existing shelter capacity and support services by 20%
  • Create emergency women’s shelters in Winnipeg, Brandon, and Thompson
We will also work with police to ensure that no-contact and restraining orders are enforced and that police have the resources to enforce them.

2. Reducing Crime and Jail Costs by Breaking the Cycle of Reoffense

Manitoba discharges people serving a sentence of 2 years less a day straight onto the streets with no support and no means to earn an honest living. Many are quickly rearrested and head back to jail, often for longer sentences, where the cycle repeats itself. The driving reason for this is that Manitoba has no halfway houses for provincial offenders to assist them transitioning back into society.

By establishing provincial halfway houses, Manitoba can reduce crime, reduce homelessness and free up police and justice resources. Already, there exists incredibly successful organizations that are focused on supporting people so they never reoffend; like Native Clan, which has been around for more than 50 years working with federal inmates and those involved in the forensic mental health systems, and Clan Mothers, which helps provide mid-to long-term support to women, girls, and two-spirit persons.

Native Clan will receive $5.5-million in capital costs, and an additional $2 million in annual operating costs to establish a provincial halfway house in Winnipeg.  Additionally, we will provide Clan Mothers $2.5-million in order to meet its fundraising target and start construction on a provincial women’s healing village as soon as possible.

“By addressing the needs of relatives who are involved in the provincial justice system, system, we can eliminate the stress and costs of addressing these needs after a relative has progressed to the federal justice system due to unaddressed trauma and lack of supports,” said Kendell Joiner, Chief Executive Pathfinder, Native Clan Organization.

3. Funding 50% of the Cost of Searching the Prairie Green Landfill

Manitoba Liberals commit to funding the search of the Prairie Green Landfill on a 50/50 basis with the Federal Government. The City of Winnipeg is currently in deficit, so the Manitoba Government will bear those costs.

As Manitobans, we should all be united in our shared grief with the families whose loved ones are still missing. For Liberals this is not a political issue, it is a moral principle. We need to stand with the victims of crime. Not a single one of the PC Government’s excuses has been valid and they have changed their story several times. 

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs have presented consistent facts and evidence that the search can be done safely, legally, and can succeed. Heather Stefanson’s Government is making this a wedge issue while destroying Manitoban’s trust in the justice system.

When we ask everyone to follow the law, we need to lead by example. All Manitobans need to know their government and the justice system is in place to serve everyone.