NDP call on McNeil government to reverse 30% cut to CNIB

November 12, 2015

The McNeil government’s 30% cut to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) has made it harder for Nova Scotians living with blindness or partial sight to receive the care and rehabilitation they need, says NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald.

She is calling on the Liberal government to restore the more than $150,000 in funding immediately and to work with the CNIB to ensure adequate assistance from our health care system is in place for Nova Scotians who require rehabilitation due to a loss of sight.

“Nova Scotians who have lost their sight are now unable to receive the timely assistance they require to return to a healthy and active lifestyle,” says MacDonald. “The Liberal government should be looking at ways to strengthen support for individuals with vision loss, instead of making senseless and petty cuts.”

As a result of the lack of adequate government funding, CNIB has been forced to eliminate 5.25 positions. This has made it difficult for the organization to deliver essential programs and services to those who need them, says Pamela Gow-Boyd, CNIB’s Executive Director and Regional Vice President for Atlantic Canada.

“When a Nova Scotian requires rehabilitation for reasons other than vision loss – as a result of a stroke, hearing loss or an amputation, for example – rehabilitative services, such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and the support of an audiologist or social worker are provided within our health care system,” says Ms. Gow-Boyd. “But, when someone loses their sight they are referred to CNIB for rehabilitation, and those services should be funded by our health care system just like rehab for other injuries and diseases.”