December 13th, 2018

Ford government’s cut to College of Midwives of Ontario moves Ontario backwards

The Doug Ford government has cut all funding to the College of Midwives of Ontario, a decision the NDP says reverses years of Ontario support for the professional regulatory body.

“The Ford government’s surprise elimination of all funding for the College of Midwives of Ontario is a huge step backward, and does nothing to help women, parents and babies,” said France Gélinas, the NDP’s Health critic and the MPP for Nickel Belt. “The Ford government is demonstrating contempt for the profession. Mothers have a right to count on not only the support of a midwife, but also that their midwife has the backing of a professional regulatory body.

“New Democrats believe every mother who wants a midwife during and after her pregnancy deserves access to the highest quality of midwifery care.”

The College of Midwives of Ontario has received annual funding from every Ontario government for the last 25 years. The $799,000 operating grant the college received constituted one-third of its budget. Not only is that money entirely cut, but the college says it’s been informed that the cut is retroactive to April 1, 2018 — which means the college is now in a deficit, since the funds it was expecting will never arrive.

In September 2018, the Ford government was ordered to negotiate with midwives to end a pay equity gap that the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal deemed discriminatory based on gender. To date, the Conservatives have refused to negotiate.

“The Conservatives continue to show disrespect for this valuable profession, and the women and families that count on it,” said Gélinas.