Gretzky re-tables motion for immediate support for women and children services in Windsor
QUEEN’S PARK – Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky has re-tabled a motion that seeks to reverse years of chronic underfunding under the Wynne government, and immediately step up with the resources necessary to support Windsor’s women and children.
“For months I have been hearing from workers in Windsor’s community agencies that serve women and children that they cannot keep up with demand. They are operating over-capacity on a regular basis, and many have had to turn people away,” said Gretzky, the NDP’s Community and Social Services critic.
Gretzky held a press conference in Queen’s Park on Thursday morning to announce her motion. She was joined by Karen Waddell, Executive Director at House of Sophrosyne, Genevieve Isshak, Clinical Director of Residential and Outreach Services at Hiatus House, and Lady Laforet, Executive Director of the Welcome Centre Shelter for Women and Families, who spoke about the increase in demand and growing waitlists.
In Windsor, almost one in four women live below the low-income line. Windsor also has the highest rate of children growing up in low-income households, in all of Canada – about 16,000 children. Women in Windsor also experience higher rates of unemployment and earn wages well below the national average.
“This is completely unacceptable, and it needs to change. The Liberal government needs to act now – there is no time to wait,” said Gretzky. “I was determined to re-table this motion, because this government has an obligation to act immediately. We know that it doesn’t have to be this way. I am here today to ask the Liberal government to do the right thing – to reverse their years of cuts, to take action immediately, to finally step up with the funding, and to ensure that women and families in Windsor get the support that they need.”
Gretzky first tabled the motion in December 2017, and was expecting both debate and a vote on the bill on Thursday. The Liberal government’s decision to prorogue the Legislature last week cancelled the motion, and forced its re-tabling.
Link to video of press conference: Windsor's Women and Children Support Services
Motion: That, in the opinion of this House, the Government of Ontario should reverse years of chronic underfunding and provide adequate resources for Windsor’s community-based support agencies for women and shelters for women, in an effort to increase women’s access to family services, counselling and addictions services, work integration, mental health and wellness supports; and improve quality of life for the one in four women and one in four children who live below the low-income line in Windsor.