Manitoba - Canadian Heritage

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Manitoba

Article 2: Rights Specifically Subject to Non-Discrimination Provisions

290.
"Social condition" is not a protected ground in the Manitoba Human Rights Code (http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/h175e.php); however, aspects of "social condition" are covered by the broad definition of "discrimination" in the Code — for example, "source of income" is a protected ground. During the reporting period, the Manitoba Human Rights Commission formally resolved 10 complaints on the basis of "source of income": one in 2000; two in 2001; none in 2002; three in 2003; four in 2004. Also, 10 matters were resolved at the pre-complaint stage: three in 2001; four in 2002 and three in 2004.

291.
The Manitoba Human Rights Commission has requested that "social condition" be added as a protected ground under the Code and, in 2004, it hosted a "Round Table Discussion" on the issue with representatives of non-governmental organizations involved in poverty and human rights issues. Discussions with the government continue.

Article 3: Equal Rights of Women and Men

292.
The rights of Aboriginal women with respect to real property off reserve are covered by provincial family property and domestic violence legislation. On June 30, 2004, Manitoba's family property regime was extended to common-law partners, both same and opposite sex (The Common-Law Partners' Property and Related Amendments Act, http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/2002/c04802e.php).

Article 6: Right to Work

293.
The legislated minimum hourly wage in Manitoba was increased during the reporting period: as of April 1, 2005, it is $7.25, compared to $6.00 in 2000.

294.
Work incentives to encourage recipients of social assistance to find employment included not counting a certain portion of their earnings when calculating social assistance. In 2003-2004, 13.4 percent of recipients made use of the work incentive provisions.

295.
In 2003-2004, Manitoba allocated $6.7 million to settlement services and adult English as a Second Language services. A strategy designed to improve labour market outcomes for new immigrants, including recognition of skills and abilities of immigrants to Manitoba, is being developed.

296.
A new Policy Framework for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition was released November 2001. In June 2003, The Adult Learning Centres Act was passed (http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/a005e.php). Adult Learning Centres (ALCs) have the potential to improve the education and employment outcomes for women and for Aboriginals. Based on self-declaration, statistics indicate that approximately 33 percent of participants at ALCs are Aboriginal and about 66 percent of ALC learners are women.

Aboriginal people

297.
New measures to foster increased employment for Aboriginal peoples include:
  • The first Aboriginal Agricultural Initiatives Co-ordinator was appointed in June 2003.
  • Self-sufficiency in food production was promoted in northern communities.
  • The Hydro Northern Training Initiative — the first large scale Aboriginal human resource strategy in northern Manitoba, planned, designed and implemented through joint consultation and full participation of the communities involved to prepare northern Aboriginals for employment opportunities on proposed hydroelectric generating stations projects. Over five years, 1,115 individuals will be trained. Taking into account factors such as attrition, this is expected to result in over 790 construction and related jobs on these projects.
  • Aboriginal apprenticeship community based training began in September 2002. As of December 2004, there were 702 active self-declared Aboriginal apprentices. Fifteen percent of all active apprentices in Manitoba are Aboriginal — an increase of about 17 percent over the number reported in April of 2004.
  • Approval and funding for new educational programs including: intakes of 25 additional Aboriginal students in the Bachelor of Social Work ACCESS Program for each of three years beginning in 2003, a part-time Master of Social Work distance education program for 20 students working with child welfare agencies serving Aboriginal communities; a diploma in Aboriginal Self-Governance Administration to be offered by the University College of the North.


Persons with disabilities

298.
In 2003-2004, 4,525 persons with disabilities received vocational services; of these 1,697 received training funds to support education and employment-related plans. Manitoba signed the Multilateral Framework for Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities in December 2003 and the Canada-Manitoba Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities — covering 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 — in April 2004. In 2003-20004, Manitoba and the Government of Canada embarked on an evaluation of programming to assess program and service effectiveness. An Evaluation Framework and Methodology Report, which sets out the evaluation questions to be addressed and methodologies, was completed in March of 2005. A request for proposals is being developed, and the formal evaluation is expected to begin in the fall of 2005 and to be completed by the summer of 2006.

Article 9: Right to Social Security

299.
In June of 2004, legislation creating a single system of income assistance in Manitoba came into effect (http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/e098e.php).

300.
In 2003-2004:
  • Income assistance and support services were provided to an average monthly caseload of 31,446 for provincial Employment and Income Assistance; 1,150 for Municipal Assistance; and 32,091 for Health Services (including children in care and persons with disabilities).
  • Income Supplement benefits were provided to 12,741 seniors under 55 PLUS and 1,153 families under the Child Related Income Support Program;
  • An average of 11,568 children were subsidized each four-week reporting period under the Child Care Subsidy Program; of these, an average of 2,469 (or 21 percent) were children of parents supported by Employment and Income Assistance.
  • Under shelter allowances programs, 3,076 elderly renters received average monthly benefits of $74.00 per household and 991 family renters received average monthly benefits of $129.00 per household.



301.
Improvements to benefits in 2003-2004 included:
  • Increasing basic income assistance rates by $20 per month per adult for non-disabled single adults and childless couples and for all adults in the persons with disabilities and aged categories, effective January 2004. This change benefited 27,915 adults and increased their income assistance by $240 per year per person.
  • Not reducing income assistance benefits for persons with disabilities (including children) who live in the community and receive a lump-sum payment — such as an inheritance or life insurance settlement — if a trust fund is set up to purchase equipment or services to improve quality of life (effective April 2003). These trust funds can accumulate up to a lifetime limit of $100,000.
  • Increasing board and room rates by two percent for individuals requiring care and supervision or living in residential care facilities, in July 2003, and again in October 2004.



302.
In 2003-2004, the National Child Benefit Supplement was fully restored, allowing $13.7 million annually to flow through to Manitoba families on income assistance (see the Introduction to this report for information on the National Child Benefit).

Article 10: Protection of the Family, Mother and Child

303.
Improvements to maternal/parental benefits in 2003-2004 included:
  • amendments to Manitoba's Employment Standards Code (http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/e110e.php) to provide for up to eight weeks of unpaid compassionate care leave and to provide better protection for workers returning from maternity, parental or compassionate care leave;
  • basic foster care rates were increased by 2.5 percent effective July 1, 2003. Seven hundred and fifty-four foster children were supported by the Subsidy Program for special social needs.



304.
Significant new investments or initiatives in child care included:
  • child care funding increased by $6 million (including nearly $1 million from the Government of Canada);
  • new operating grant funding for 788 child care spaces;
  • increased funding for the Child Care Subsidy Program and for child care centres, homes and nursery schools;
  • Growth in child care spaces since 2000-2001

2000-2001 23,022 $58,288.0
2001-2002 24,009 $64,681.6
2002-2003 24,777 $67,878.8
2003-2004 25,634 $62,739.1*
(not including children with disabilities)


305.
In 2003-2004, implementation of the recommendations of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry – Child Welfare Initiative continued. Through this Initiative, which is nationally recognized for its historical significance, Manitoba has given First Nations and Métis people province-wide authority and responsibility for their own child and family services system. The Child and Family Services Authorities Act (http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/c090e.php) came into force November 24, 2003. Case transfers are to be completed in 2005. For more information, see Canada's Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

306.
The 2003 Manitoba progress report on Early Childhood Development is available online, at http://www.gov.mb.ca/healthychild/ecd/ecd_reports.html. The report showcases the province's Child Day Care program and highlights other investments to strengthen early childhood development, learning and care in Manitoba. See the Introduction to the present report for information on the Early Childhood Development Agreement.

Family violence

307.
New initiatives respecting family violence in 2003-2004 included:
  • Amendments to The Domestic Violence and Stalking Prevention, Protection and Compensation Act (http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/d093e.php) to extend civil protective remedies to situations where family members have not lived together and to dating relationships.
  • The Domestic Violence Front End Project, which has dramatically reduced the amount of time required to prosecute domestic violence offences.
  • Re-organization and amalgamation of victims services for the province.
  • Establishment of "A Women's Place" Legal Clinic.
  • The Family Violence Prevention Program Web site: http://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/childfam/family_
    violence_prevention.html
    .
  • A comprehensive review and improvement of the emergency children's shelter system in Winnipeg, in collaboration with the Children's Advocate.
  • Supported Living Program activities to increase the safety and well-being of persons with disabilities living in the community through training, information and funding of initiatives.


Article 11: Right to an Adequate Standard of Living

308.
In addition to the increases in benefits discussed under Article 9, the mechanism for enforcing family support obligations was improved by passing The Inter-jurisdictional Support Orders Act (http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/i060e.php) and legislative improvements to the government-run Maintenance Enforcement Program (http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/f020e.php).

Right to adequate housing

309.
The Affordable Housing Initiative (http://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/housing/ahi.html), noted in the Introduction to the present report, will create approximately 2,500 affordable new homes and rental units in Manitoba. Under this initiative, Manitoba has entered into a five-year agreement with the City of Winnipeg under which the City will contribute over $17 million in support of affordable housing. Also, eight project proposals totaling $5.62 million in New Rental Supply funding are being developed.

310.
In 2003-2004, $3 million in funding for programs such as the Neighbourhood Housing Assistance and $2 million as the provincial contribution to the federal/provincial Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program continued to contribute to housing revitalization in declining neighbourhoods in Winnipeg, Brandon and Thompson.

Homelessness

311.
The Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative (http://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/housing/whhi.html), a partnership between Manitoba, Canada and the City of Winnipeg, to address declining housing stock, homelessness and the revitalization of Winnipeg's older neighbourhoods, was extended for an additional five years in November of 2003. Under the Initiative, over $31 million has been committed to support the repair, rehabilitation and construction of over 1,100 units of housing and 100 rooms or beds, and to provide assistance to homeless individuals and families, or those at risk of becoming homeless.

Article 12: Right to Physical and Mental Health

312.
New initiatives in health care for vulnerable groups include:
  • The Northern Healthy Foods Initiative was established in the City of Thompson.
  • The Provincial Mental Health Advisory Council was reconstituted as a consumer and family member body.
  • The following were established: the Mental Health Education Resource Centre of Manitoba; the Provincial Special Needs Unit — a specialized unit for high-risk complex individuals not adequately served by or eligible for existing services; the Early Intervention in Psychosis program; and a Program of Assertive Community Treatment, which has been identified as a best practice in Canada.
  • The Manitoba Women's Health Strategy was released in 2000 (http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/women/index.html); Women's Health Consultations were held; and the Manitoba Cervical Cancer Screening Program was established.
  • A Strategy for Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementias in Manitoba was released in 2002 (http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/documents/alzheimer.
    pdf
    ).
  • Advancing Age: Promoting Older Manitobans was released in 2003 (http://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/advancingage.html) and new personal care home standards were developed.
  • Programs, training and resources respecting fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and 'at-risk' pregnant women were established. See Canada's Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights for details on these programs.
  • A Children's Therapy Initiative was established to provide co-coordinated, regionally based services that allow children to reach their full potential, and a permanent Applied Behaviour Analysis program was established for pre-school children with autism.
  • Manitoba has the highest rate in Canada for individuals newly diagnosed with end stage renal disease, at 17.6/100,000. Further expansion of renal health/dialysis services continues to occur in order to address increasing volumes.
  • The Northern and Aboriginal Population Health and Wellness Institute was established in 2004. It has begun work in the areas of suicide, traditional healing and diabetes.



313.
Incidence and prevalence of diabetes in Manitoba is expected to continue to increase due to an aging population, enhanced screening, etc. It is expected that it will take 10 or more years before the impact of provincial policy, programs and services will result in decreased incidence of diabetes.

314.
Manitoba collects population level information on the incidence of alcohol use during pregnancy, through a provincial postnatal screen of all births and an in-depth interview with mothers seen in a home visiting program (the "Families First" program). The provincial screen indicates the incidence of drinking during pregnancy in 2003-2004 varies in different regions of the province and ranges from nine to 28 percent of women indicating alcohol use during pregnancy. Data from the in-depth Families First assessment indicates that 65 percent of families referred to the program report alcohol use during pregnancy. It is anticipated that the provincial screening tool will be useful in identifying trends in incidence of alcohol use during pregnancy.

Persons with disabilities

315.
During the reporting period:
  • a position of Minister responsible for Persons with Disabilities was established;
  • "Full Citizenship: A Manitoba Provincial Strategy on Disability" was released in 2001 (http://www.gov.mb.ca/access/);
  • the Disabilities Issues Office was established in December 2003; and
  • two Round Tables on Disability Issues were hosted to provide people with disabilities with an opportunity to present feedback and suggestions concerning government policy and programs.


Article 13: Right to Education

316.
New initiatives in education include:
  • The Safe Schools Charter was passed in June of 2004 (http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/2004/
    c02404e.php
    ).
  • Legislation was passed in June 2004 that ensures that all children, especially those with special needs, receive appropriate educational programming (http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/2004/
    c00904e.php
    ).
  • Integrating Aboriginal Perspectives into Curricula: A Resource for Curriculum Developers, Teachers and Administrators was released in 2003, initiating the workshop Incorporating Aboriginal Perspectives: A Theme-Based Curricular Approach.
  • The Aboriginal Education Action Plan was developed in 2004 to increase access to and completion of post-secondary education, increase successful entry into and participation in the labour market and improve the research base for Aboriginal education and employment. Data tracking is fundamental to this initiative. (http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/abedu/action_plan/
    index.html
    ).
  • The University College of the North was established in July 2004, with a mandate to serve the educational needs of Aboriginal and northern Manitobans, and to enhance the social and economic well-being of northern Manitoba (http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/
    u055e.php
    ).


Article 15: Right to Participate in Cultural Life and Benefit from Scientific Progress and the Protection of Authors' Rights

317.
In 2003-2004, the Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism, with financial assistance from the Department of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, established the Minister's Advisory Council on First Nations and Indigenous Arts and Cultural Activities and the Minister's Advisory Council on Métis Arts and Cultural Activities. Three Aboriginal Artists' Roundtables have been held.

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