Pallister Refuses to Support Parental Leave

Today, NDP Bill 211 did not receive the support of Progressive Conservatives.

Bill 211 would have amended maternity and paternity leave legislation in Manitoba, allowing parents to take advantage of new Employment Insurance provisions, amended by the federal government, which now allow parents to extend parental leave benefits over eighteen months, as opposed to the previous twelve months.

Currently, provincial legislation limits employees to twelve months of leave. Without legislative changes in Manitoba, employees will not be guaranteed the right to return to their job if they choose to take advantage of the eighteen month option.

This refusal by Pallister to give parents the option to stretch their maternity and paternity leave benefits over eighteen months will hurt new families, who are being denied the opportunity to consider an extended parental leave in those critical months after welcoming a new child into their family.

“It’s unbelievable that Pallister and members of the PC caucus would deny families this option. It’s a sign that they are not on the side of families throughout Manitoba. Seventeen thousand babies are both every year in Manitoba. That’s forty six babies every day, and forty six families that are being denied the right to make their own choices every day that Pallister refuses to act.”