CRP advocates: Ball in Barrette's court

Parents visit council last summer to plea for help getting Quebec's attention. 

The beleaguered Mieux-Naître à Laval perinatal services organization is getting some help with its rent payment.

A press release on the Mouvement Lavallois website (but not found on the city of Laval’s site) explains that “Marc Demers, leader of Mouvement Lavallois and Mayor of Laval and Sandra Desmeules, member of the executive committee and candidate of the party in the Concorde-Bois-de-Boulogne district,” announced the executive committee decision last week.

The $31,755 in assistance is considered “exceptional help, given our strong desire to support the birth of babies in Laval in the coming months,” said the party statement, adding that it comes as a response to the concerns and plea for help by several young parents at city council last spring.

While the dollars come in handy, the group was asking for a larger boost in terms of operational funding, and the support of the council in bringing pressure to bear on the provincial government.

That was not forthcoming: In fact, city officials confirmed that Demers’ missives to Quebec Health MinisterGaétan Barrette went almost a year unanswered, as did a more recent letter to Premier Phillipe Couillard.

As reported in The Suburban in August, Mieux-Naître had asked for stable operational funding, but Laval’s integrated health and social services centre (CISSS) maintains it already offers complete services in line with the ministry’s guidelines and that in Laval, only services relating to breastfeeding support require a partnership agreement, already in place with Mieux-Naître for $35,000.

The seven-year-old organization offers health counselling, parenting workshops, breastfeeding advice, meetups and much more, helping young mothers forge friendships, offering support and helping keep up morale in difficult times for new parents.

Mieux-Naître is part of a network of 18 Perinatal Resource Centers (CRPs) in Quebec in a dozen regions, although it receives no recurring funding from the government, something Desmeules called an “unfortunate inequity towards our Laval families.”

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