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Manitoba spending $82 million to boost wages of workers who support disability services

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March 21, 2023
By Talent Canada

The Golden Boy perched on top of the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg. Photo courtesy Government of Manitoba.

Manitoba is boosting its funding to support disability services to the tune of $104 million, with the bulk of that money going towards increasing wages for the staff who deliver programs.

The money was announced as part of Budget 2023, and $82 million of that funding is going to higher wages. It will raise the baseline funded hourly wage rate to $19 for direct service workers and $20.90 for supervisors and program support staff.

“Our government remains steadfast in our commitment to create meaningful and impactful change for Manitobans living with disabilities,” said Premier Heather Stefanson. “We are listening and we are taking action to improve the quality of lives of all Manitobans. This historic funding commitment, which represents the largest increase for this sector in our province’s history, will have a tremendous impact on the lives of children with disabilities and adults with an intellectual disability, their families and the staff who support them, now and for generations to come.”

It’s the largest single investment in Community Living disABILITY Services (CLDS) since the program was launched.


The CLDS program provides funding to 93 agencies across the province that deliver a range of support services to approximately 7,900 adults with an intellectual disability. Children’s disABILITY Services supports 6,500 children with a variety of resources and supports to assist families to care for their children at home in their own communities, where children grow and thrive, the minister noted.

“This significant increase provides much-needed stability to people with disabilities and organizations. It will allow front-line staff who love their work to be able to stay and continue that work,” said Margo Powell, executive director, Abilities Manitoba. “This brings hope of being able to recruit and retain direct support staff who are interested, invested and able to stay in support work.”

Breakdown of the funding

The new funding includes:

  • $79.7 million to increase the baseline funded hourly wage rate to $19 for direct service workers and $20.90 for supervisors and program support staff who provide residential, day and respite services to CLDS participants and their families;
  • $2 million to support families raising children with disabilities to increase the funded guideline rate for agency-delivered and self-managed respite services to $19 per hour, so families supported through self-managed respite can offer a competitive wage when recruiting and retaining respite workers; and
  • $21.4 million to expand the capacity of the CLDS program.

“These investments are a significant step forward in supporting Manitoba’s disability community and will further support service providers in providing a meaningful and competitive wage to front-line workers in the disability sector,” said Squires.

The Budget 2023 commitment builds on previously announced investments of $29 million towards disability services programming including $10 million for increasing sector wages, $13.8 million to build sector capacity, and $5 million dedicated to building case management services and reducing wait times for therapeutic services for children.

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