Addictions cash came with a catch: Manitoba Liberals

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The Manitoba Liberals say they are calling out a bluff from the Pallister government over how much cash the province is actually dedicating to the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba.

"It's really frustrating really what we're pointing out is that the government isn't telling the truth when they say that they're giving more money to the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba," Manitoba Liberal Party Leader Dougald Lamont said Thursday night.

Lamont and the Liberals called out Manitoba Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen for saying funding to the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba has gone up by $985,500 this year.

What Lamont said Goertzen has left out is that the cash given to AFM came with a catch from the Tories that the organization find $800,000 in savings and a 15 per cent reduction in management.

Goertzen's office maintained Thursday that frontline services were unaffected.

Amy McGuinness, Goertzen's press secretary, said the province asked the organization to find $800,000 in "efficiencies" in areas such as vacancy management, advertising and administrative costs.

'It is a genuine crisis'

Lamont said meth is in every corner of Manitoba and called out the province for not having a plan.

"It is a genuine crisis."

"This is something that's affecting people from all across the province from every walk of life and it's ruining people's lives not just from addiction but financially people are losing their homes, losing their jobs, losing their families."

Robert Lidstone, who is recovering from a meth addiction, said the government should invest in supports now before the situation gets worse.

"Things are going to progressively deteriorate until we decide that we got to address this in a more proactive way," Lidstone said.

The Addictions Foundation of Manitoba didn't immediately return a request for comment Thursday night.