During this morning’s meeting of The Standing Committee on the Status of Women, the NDP Critic for Women and Gender Equality, Lindsay Mathyssen, will put forward a motion calling for a study on the impact of the cuts made to the midwifery program at Laurentian University. The loss of this program will have devastating effects on the maternal health of women across the country.
“The recent elimination of the midwifery program at Laurentian University will have direct impacts on maternal health for women across the province and country. Underserved, francophone, and indigenous communities will be those hardest hit,” said Mathyssen. “A study on this issue is imperative to help uplift the role of midwives throughout Canada and protect maternal health, especially in rural and underserved communities.”
Laurentian University’s four-year midwifery program, is one of only three offered in Ontario and the only one offered in French. The program was capped by the province at 30 students, however the demand was much higher and the program had well over 300 applications a year. With the Laurentian program being cut, the province will lose one-third of its midwifery graduates, at a time when the services of midwives are increasingly in demand.
“I hope that members of this committee from all sides of the political spectrum will see the urgent need for this study,” added Mathyssen. “The Liberals have failed women across the country by letting Laurentian fall to such a sorry state. We need to do all that we can to find a solution that protects this indispensable program.”
New Democrats will continue to fight to ensure that women across the country have access to the lifesaving care they need.
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