NDP: Restore funding to HIV groups

Without help, 40 organizations will slash services or close

February 23, 2018

Vancouver – NDP Health Critic Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway) today called on the Liberal government to reverse its policies that are cutting funding to Canada’s community-based HIV organizations.  He was joined by Tom McAulay from Positive Living BC, Brian Chittock from AIDS Vancouver, and Kari Hackett from Positive Living Fraser Valley.

“These cuts mean that more than 40 community-based HIV organizations across Canada, including nine in British Columbia, will lose long-standing federal funding on April 1,” said Davies. “They have already led to the closure of the Positive Women’s Network Society, B.C.’s only support organization for HIV-positive women.

“Even the Canadian AIDS Society will close its doors if funding isn’t increased,” Davies said.

Davies said that a mere $7 million is needed to maintain these services – less than the Liberals spent on the Parliament Hill ice rink.

In 2003, both Liberal and New Democrat MPs on the Health Committee agreed that the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS should be increased to $100 million annually.  It is currently frozen at $72.6 million. The Community Action Fund (the program that funds community-based services) is also frozen through 2019-20. Because there are more applicants seeking static funds, cuts to established providers have occurred.

“While Prime Minister Trudeau boasts on the world stage about his international commitment to HIV/AIDS, he’s starving the very groups that are doing that work here at home,” Davies said.

“Canada’s New Democrats will continue to press the Liberals to provide stable and predictable funding for these essential front-line groups,” Davies concluded.

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