Government Relations & Advocacy
government and community relations efforts, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada,
Manitoba Division works to ensure that everyone with MS in Manitoba
has the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of life.
It endeavours to change government policies, private industry
practices and public attitudes in ways that will benefit Manitobans
affected by MS.
Volunteer Legal Advocacy (VLAP)
more information contact:
Director, Client Services and Government Relations
Legal Advice, Advocacy for Persons Living with MS
The Manitoba Division of the MS Society of Canada is pleased to
announce the launch of the MS Volunteer Legal Advocacy Program!
The Volunteer Legal Advocacy Program
(VLAP) is an exciting new program
designed to benefit persons living
with multiple sclerosis in Manitoba by
providing access to volunteers with legal
and advocacy experience for legal advice
and/or representation in three different
areas of the law.
What areas of the law will
The Manitoba Division of the MS Society
of Canada recognizes that a variety of
unique legal/advocacy challenges exist
among persons living with MS. We are
partnering with lawyers to provide help in
the following areas: employment
issues; insurance income security, and
How does a person request assistance from VLAP?
Contact Nadine Konyk, Client Services
0904 or 1-800-268-7582 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org for more
Eligibility for legal services
including financial criteria as well as a
would then be referred to a VLAP lawyer
with the specific area of expertise.
Well earned recognition for Caregivers could be on the way for Manitoba.
Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors Minister Jim Rondeau (seen here with MS Society of Canada, Manitoba Division Director of Client Services & Government Relations Darell Hominuk and Client Services Coordinator Nadine Konyk) recently introduced legislation that would “establish a legislative framework to increase awareness and recognition of Manitoba’s informal or family caregivers, and acknowledge their valuable contribution to society.” The MB Division of the MS Society has played an active role in advocating on behalf of caregivers of Manitobans affected by MS and are pleased with Mr. Rondeau’s announcement.
The legislation would establish Manitoba as the first province in Canada to offer such recognition. To view details of the legislation, click here.
Barrier-Free Manitoba is calling on the provincial government to honour its commitment to address widespread disability discrimination by introducing accessibility-rights legislation during the last sitting of the 35th Legislature. For more information, click here
MS Society of Canada, Manitoba Division welcomes Province of Manitoba’s investment into MS Research
The Government of Manitoba announced that it will commit $5 Million towards research on the potential relationship between Multiple Sclerosis and chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI). For more information, read the Manitoba News Release
CCSVI Update in Manitoba
The Manitoba Minister of Health, Theresa Oswald responded favorably to our request on the creation of a registry for patients who received treatment for CCSVI abroad and that no one who undergoes treatment for CCSVI abroad is denied the necessary post-treatment follow-up medical care in Manitoba. Click here to read our letter to Ms. Oswald. Click here to read Ms. Oswald’s response.
Growing Government Relationships
The Manitoba Division of the MS Society has played an active role in advocating on behalf of Manitobans living with MS. Through respectful persistence, communication with the Manitoba Minister of Health, Teresa Oswald, led to a number of significant announcements in October 2010. First, a disease modifying therapy called Tysabri was added to the Pharmacare formulary giving persons with MS and neurologists the option to choose a therapy which has been shown to be safe and effective. Second, the Manitoba Government set aside $500,000 for CCSVI clinical trials if and when scientific evidence demonstrates that trials are safe and effective. Finally, the province announced an increase in funding for the MS Clinic to add a new neurologist. For more information on these announcements, please visit this link.
A housing proposal for an age appropriate facility to meet the needs of adults aged 18-65 with complex health needs that include both physical and cognitive disabilities was presented to the NDP Caucus on February 1, 2010. This proposal was developed by a partnership of the MS Society of Canada, the Huntington Society of Canada, Muscular Dystrophy Canada, the Parkinson Society Manitoba and the Manitoba Brain Injury Association otherwise known as the Age Appropriate Housing Alliance. Affordable, accessible accommodation with the capacity of providing a range of physical, cognitive, social, managerial and supervisory supports and services tailored to the individual’s needs is being recommended. A number of MLAs showed interest in the proposal and offered suggestions.
The MS Society has been working diligently to improve income support programs for persons living with MS. We are urging the federal government to allow spouses to claim the federal caregiver tax credit, an option that is not currently available. Manitoba Division is pleased that, on April 8, 2010 in the home of Lynn and Wayne Waterman, Judy Wasylycia-Leis, MP for Winnipeg North launched a private members bill in support of our efforts. Lynne has been her husband’s caregiver since his diagnosis of MS 30 years ago. For more information about the bill, please click here
The Manitoba Division is pleased that the newly appointed Manitoba Minister of Labour and Immigration and Minister Responsible for Persons with Disabilities, Jennifer Howard, responded favourably to our request for a meeting to discuss particular issues faced by Manitobans living with MS. Minister Howard met with MS Society staff on January 21, 2010 to discuss the consideration of the inclusion of Tysabri onto the Manitoba Drug Benefits Formulary and access to treatment from outside the city centre. The one hour meeting with the Minister and her advisors was very informative and highly productive.
Reasonable accommodation in the workplace is an essential principle in the approach to human rights. It often involves a simple and inexpensive change in the work setting that results in an equal employment opportunity that benefits both the employer and employee with a disability. What is reasonable depends on the facts and circumstances of the situation.
For more information, visit the Manitoba Human Rights Commission. Watch these short animated films developed by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation which highlight some of the simple, low-cost changes that employers can make to help people with MS maintain employment.
Filing Your 2011 Income Tax Return
With the new year upon us, we now find ourselves having to deal with the yearly task of filing tax returns. To make income tax time work for you in 2010, please visit this link. Take advantage of credits and refunds that are available to you such as claiming out-of-country travel for medical procedures. For more information on claiming medical tax credit for procedures and services received outside of Canada, click here.
Tax Credit for Caregivers
Are you a primary caregiver for a family member or other person needing care? You may be eligible for a $1,020 tax credit from the Government of Manitoba. For more information, please visit this link. Click here to download an application.
Staying in Touch – The Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPPD) Newsletter
Stay on top of new information regarding CPPD and read updates on important areas such as working while in receipt of CPP-D benefits, planning a secure financial future, and benefits that you and your family may be entitled to receive. Visit this link and download your copy of the most recent newsletter by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.