How can Winnipeg reduce poverty?

Dear supporting organizations for Make Poverty History Manitoba,

We are holding consultations for developing a City of Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Plan, with consultations starting today at the Millennium Library at 6 pm. Other dates are March 23, April 4 and April 6. Further details below.

No one level of government can solve poverty on its own, so we need the City of Winnipeg to make poverty reduction a priority in the areas it has under its jurisdiction.

If you can spread the word to your contacts and invite your members to attend, that would help us mobilize the support we need to make poverty reduction a priority at the City of Winnipeg. If you are unable to attend, I have attached have a quick survey you can fill out to add your voice.

Josh Brandon, Chair, Make Poverty History Manitoba

The Unbearable Resilience of P3s

By Lynne Fernandez
On March 6, 2017, the Winnipeg Free Press reported that the Manitoba government was examining Saskatchewan’s experience with using Public Private Partnerships (P3s) to build new public schools. The Saskatchewan government claims that it will save $100m dollars by using P3s, although it was not explained how it arrived at that conclusion.

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Funding non-profit organizations gives good value for money

By Shauna MacKinnon,

Several small non-profit organizations (NPOs) are nervously awaiting Manitoba’s 2017 budget. Funding sources they’ve come to rely on have been ‘on pause’ for months and its beginning to affect the services they provide. Many organizations have been unable to confirm that multi-year agreements signed through the government’s Non-Profit Organization (NPO) Strategy will remain in place—they are told they must wait until the budget is released. Government officials have also warned agreement holders that agreements can be terminated and therefore they should not spend beyond the current fiscal year. This means that front line services will be disrupted because some organizations will be forced to layoff program staff prior to the April budget. Read More

Fudging numbers presents distorted picture

By Lynne Fernandez

In Aiming for ‘average’ could help Manitoba, Peter Holle resorts to sleight of hand to convince us that Manitoba’s public sector is responsible for the province’s budgetary shortfalls. He states that the size of province’s public sector, including municipal employees, went up 2,500 over the last two years and 15,000 over the last 5 years. He then follows these assertions with a discussion of Manitoba’s budgetary challenges, even though the province is not responsible for municipal employees.

If we are to have an honest conversation about the provincial budget and provincial workers, we need to consider two groups of workers: Manitoba civil servants and the other public sector workers whose employers are funded by the province (teachers, professors, healthcare workers, etc.). Manitoba civil servants work directly for the province. According to the Manitoba Bureau of Statistics, in 2015 the civil service numbered 14,687 and made up 2.3% of the total Manitoba workforce. The Bureau also reports that the Manitoba Civil Service is 1.4% smaller than it was 6 years ago and 4% smaller than this time in 2012. Read More

Laying few charges will help reduce overcrowding

[This article was first published in the Winnipeg Free Press, March 8, 2017]

By John Hutton

Manitoba has a higher proportion of adults in custody than any other province.

We lock up people more frequently than Saskatchewan by 17 per cent and three-and-a-half times more frequently than B.C., according to a Statistics Canada report from last week. Read More

Winnipeg Women speak out on Homelessness

Artwork by Jackie Traverse
By Jenna Drabble

This winter, a 53 year-old woman died overnight in minus 32-degree temperatures, frozen to death on the streets of downtown Winnipeg. This tragic and preventable loss serves as a reminder of how Winnipeg is failing to support people who need it the most and that the homelessness crisis affects women. A new study released today renews calls to action to deal with this tremendously unjust situation.

In 2016, community-based organizations asked the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Manitoba office to coordinate a study on women’s experiences of homelessness. It was noted that the province was celebrating 100 years since some women had received the right to vote; however, many women continue to experience marginalization, particularly when it comes to housing and homelessness. The results of this study, Finding Her Home, renew the call for more public investment and coordination across government and community to end homelessness. Read More

Caring for Home Care in Manitoba

By Pete Hudson

In January, the government released the Toews report The Future of Home Care Services in Manitoba. The report was commissioned by the NDP government in 2015 as a follow up to an earlier report on Home Care (HC) from the province’s Auditor General. The two most compelling challenges identified in both reports are an anticipated rise in costs resulting mainly from an ageing population, and difficulty in recruiting and retaining staff. However, neither report paints a picture of crisis. Read More

Today’s conservatives are not your Grandpa’s Tories: Co-ops, Credit Unions and Free Trade Policies

By Ellen Smirl

On the Main Street in Morden Manitoba there are two gas stations: an Esso and a Co-op. During the busiest times of the week-after a hockey game, or on Sunday when the area’s many churches let out-you will see cars waiting in line at the Co-op while the Esso remains virtually empty. Research shows that there are more co-ops and credit unions in rural communities compared to urban areas. These areas are also more likely to vote conservative. In the last provincial election, with the exception of three northern ridings, rural communities solidly elected blue candidates. Read More

Doing Austerity in Saskatchewan and Manitoba


By Lynne Fernandez and Simon Enoch

In the Fall 2016 Monitor, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)Saskatchewan’s Simon Enoch penned Getting to Know Brad, introducing Canada’s most popular premier – Brad Wall – to the country. He ran down Wall’s list of “accomplishments”. What made Simon’s analysis so interesting (and at the same time, disheartening) was how Wall has rolled out such a regressive agenda while remaining so popular. He noted that the rest of Canada needed to pay attention to Wall as he was beta-testing a number of conservative policy experiments that we could see replicated elsewhere. Read More

Brewing up Debate: Alternatives to Austerity in Manitoba

Note time change!   Feb 9th start 6:00 pm – come for 5:30 and buy your snack and beverage of choice.

poster-feb-9th-4For video of this event click HERE.