At the last minute and in the lead-up to the budget process for 2015 the NDP ordered non-profit organizations funded by the department of Jobs and the Economy to relinquish 4 per cent of their total contracted budgets for 2014/15.
The 122 organizations affected were given two weeks to claw back the funding which provided essential front line services to vulnerable Manitobans. The projected claw back totaled $566,000.
“Once again we see front line services suffer as the government desperately seeks ways to hide their mismanagement of public funds,” said Opposition Leader Brian Pallister. “What’s even more shameful is their eagerness to make up for NDP waste on the backs of those most in need.”
“It is reprehensible to go to not-for-profits weeks before Christmas demanding they claw back over half a million dollars allocated to people who are already counting on the support,” said Morris MLA Shannon Martin.
In an email obtained by the PCs dated Nov. 28, 2014, an agency was told by a government official they had until Dec. 15 to meet the 4 per cent claw back of their total budget. This is equivalent to a 16 per cent claw back for the last quarter.
“It’s unprecedented in my experience to spring such an unexpected, unreasonable demand when government funded agencies have already spent three quarters of their budgets,” Martin said.
Some of the agencies affected provide employment counseling, support for seniors, rehabilitation for substance abuse, priority placements for pregnant women, and transition counseling for individuals living independently. Other agencies provide support for youth, persons with disabilities and aboriginals.