TRAVEL FOR NATIVE WOMEN’S BIRTH COMPANIONS PAID
Health Minister Jane Philpott says Ottawa will now pay for someone to travel with indigenous women who need to leave their communities to give birth — a change to what she called an “extremely unhelpful” policy. “It requires significant resources in order to be able to do that, but it is absolutely a wise investment,” Philpott said. Indigenous women without proof of a medical need to have someone escort them have long been forced to have their children alone and far from their land, language and heritage, the minister said. She said northern Manitoba doctors told her of women who were so terrified to travel alone that they would hide to avoid having their pregnancy discovered, only to present themselves at the last minute in communities illprepared for deliveries.