Ontario Government releases 2017 budget
The Ontario government released its 2017 budget yesterday, which spoke to the Liberals' commitment to continue making midwifery care accessible to Ontarians.
The budget specifically noted that "midwifery services provide low-risk birthing options to improve the quality of care and value for Ontarians" and the government’s commitment to ensure that "families with low-risk births will have increased choices for quality care, reducing the need for more costly hospital or specialized care.”
Specifically, these commitments are supported by investments that will enable the sector to increase by up to 90 new midwives this year.
The budget highlighted the Liberal commitment to Aboriginal midwifery and supporting culturally appropriate care, including funding for care provided by:
• Dilico Family Health Team Clinic in Fort William First Nation
• K'Tigaaning Midwives in Powassan
• Kenhte:ke Midwives in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory
• Onkwehon:we Midwives in Akwesasne
• Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre in Sudbury
• Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre in London
Along with these investments, the government is also providing development grants to Indigenous communities across the province who are exploring the renewal and restoration of midwifery in their communities.
There was no commitment in the budget to address the gender pay gap for midwives in Ontario. However, we continue to move forward with our case at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Closing arguments for the case will be heard by the Tribunal on June 8 and 9 – mark your calendars, all are welcome to attend.