McNeil government needs to reinstate funding to CNIB

July 16, 2015

(Halifax, NS) NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald is calling on Health Minister Leo Glavine to meet with CNIB as soon as possible to discuss reinstating funding the McNeil government eliminated earlier this year.

“The McNeil government needs to have a second look at this cut and recognize how critical this funding was for supporting Nova Scotians living with vision loss,” says MacDonald.

MacDonald says she wrote to Minister Glavine and Minister Bernard on June 5 regarding this issue (Read Letter) but hasn’t received a response.  

As a result of the McNeil government cutting funding to CNIB, the organization has had to lay off programs and services staff. In a letter to the Chronicle Herald today, CNIB’s executive director Pamela Gow-Boyd says CNIB will be forced to reduce their services further unless funding is reinstated. 

“I understand Minister Glavine is planning to review some funding cuts to non-profits this fall – but that may be too late. CNIB will be forced to make more cuts if we don’t receive government funding before September,” says Gow-Boyd.

In April 2015, the Department of Community Services cut CNIB’s funding by 30 per cent to $355,460. The Department of Health and Wellness provides funding of $175,000 to the organization. According to CNIB, the projected cost to deliver vision rehabilitation therapy in 2015-2016 is approximately $1.2 million.

“CNIB is the primary provider of vision rehabilitation therapy in Nova Scotia and their programs and services are not offered by any other health professionals,” says MacDonald. “When a blind person needs to learn skills and techniques to accomplish everyday activities that sighted people take for granted – like crossing a street, preparing a meal or managing their medications – where will they go if CNIB doesn’t have adequate funding?”  

“I hope the McNeil government will act swiftly to restore this funding before any further disruptions in services happen.”