April 15th, 2021

West demands Ford reverse cut to Laurentian midwifery program

QUEEN’S PARK – Doug Ford needs to reverse the cuts announced at Laurentian and save programs like its school of midwifery, the largest in the country and the only bilingual midwifery program in Canada, said Sudbury NDP MPP Jamie West, during question period Thursday.

“Allowing the midwifery program at Laurentian to be cut is destructive and makes no sense. It’s the largest program of its kind in Canada. It’s the only French School of Midwifery outside of Quebec, and 100 per cent of midwifery graduates have been hired,” said West.

West said the Ford government needs to take responsibility for the cut because the midwifery program is managed by the Ministry of Health which caps enrolment of the program to 30 students.

“Will the government take responsibility for its role in the destruction of programs like midwifery and reverse the cuts at Laurentian?” asked West.

West said Doug Ford and Ross Romano are firing over 100 people and slashing nearly 70 programs at Laurentian University. He said the CCAA process is not meant for public institutions and the Ford government should stop using it to tear apart Laurentian, and devastate the future of students and education in Northern Ontario.

“Doug Ford and Ross Romano are using a brutal process to satisfy bankers. As long as the banks get paid, they don’t care what cuts are being made,” said West. “Our university is a community – and we do care about every one of the cuts that are being made.”

West said the Ford government needs to reverse the cuts for students like Alison Kroes, who is a midwifery student at Laurentian. He shared her story with the legislature: “I have exposed myself to COVID for the last year in order to serve the Ontario population. I’ve moved more than 10 times for placements. I’ve completed unpaid placements and acquired significant student debt. I’ve faced extended separation from my support systems. And, I now have no clear path to graduation or registration to the profession. This cut is unconscionable,” said Kroes.

“Will the premier do the right thing for Northern students like Alison and fund Laurentian to save our much-needed programs like midwifery?” said West.