Laval’s only perinatal resource centre got an early Christmas gift last year, celebrating the first recurrent funding for the organization, something it had lobbied vociferously for years to no avail, until François Legault’s public promise for permanent financing in the last provincial election campaign.
For years Mieux-Naître attempted to secure said funding from the previous Liberal government with no success, and walked away with small amounts from discretionary envelopes but no commitments for the future. Indeed, even urgent pleadings from Laval city council’s to former premier Philippe Couillard and former health minister Gaetan Barrette bore no fruit, even waiting more than a year for a response to one appeal on behalf of the organization that offers health, parenting and breast-feeding counseling, helping young mothers forge friendships, offering support and helping boost morale in difficult times for new parents.
Relying on donations, piece-meal funding, and social economy activities, the group survived in perpetual panic mode, unsure whether it will make its rent or be able to carry on the activities that it offers young families in Quebec third largest city, where an estimated 43 percent of mothers giving birth in Laval were born abroad, and with a high number of single-parent families.
As reported in The Suburban, Sainte-Rose MNA Christopher Skeete said Quebec’s perinatal services funding was unequal. “Laval never got its fair share, whether it was culture, health or education. It was always underfunded on a per capita ratio compared to the rest of Quebec. We promised to make a change and we are.” Skeete said the year-plus delay after some emergency funding early in the mandate, was due to work coming up with a plan that ensures “they’ll be funded and that they will be funded for the next 15 years.”
As a result of the CAQ commitment to fund MN, the organizations, founded in 2010 has received its first $250,000 to support future and new families, and is now embarking on a new chapter, seeking to expand the offerings to new parents, as expressed over the years by stakeholders, including professional resources (chiropractic, osteopath, physiotherapy, etc...); healthy food counter; shop for eco-friendly baby supplies; a forum to exchange strollers and furniture; a daycare, drop-in centre and more.
For information visit www.mieuxnaitre.org