REGINA - Regina-Elphinstone MLA and Social Services Critic Meara Conway called for immediate action to ensure the new warming centre in her constituency secures funding from the provincial government. Since opening, hundreds of people come through the centre’s doors each day, finding a meal, a place to sleep, and a break from the deadly cold.
“The warming centre Awasiw: A Place of Hope is an initiative of All Nations Hope and the YWCA that was established a few weeks ago as an emergency stop-gap to prevent freezing deaths,” said Conway. “It’s shameful that the Sask. Party government has refused to support this life-saving work during the coldest week of the year.”
Conway wrote to the Minister of Social Services Lori Carr to request provincial funding for the warming centre. In the Minister’s response, she refused to provide the funding.
“The Minister says she doesn’t have the budget for the modest funding Awasiw is requesting. Truth be told, Lori Carr is sitting on $23 million of federal funding for vulnerable people, and what she offered in her letter was little more than the telephone directory for Income & Housing Assistance,” Conway stated. “With the government sitting on $260 million in ‘contingency funds’ there is no excuse not to step up for the most vulnerable in the coldest months of the year.”
Conway noted that the Sask. Party government didn’t step up in time to fight back the second wave of COVID-19 and now Saskatchewan families are paying the price.
A recent report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives echoes earlier concerns from the NDP caucus, confirming that the Sask. Party Government has failed to activate millions in federal funding for vulnerable people.
“Lori Carr has proven in her short time as Minister that she is lacking both the empathy and leadership to do her job. The Sask. Party government commitment to literally leave people out in the cold is stingy, heartless, and indefensible.”