In recognition of International Day of the Midwife 2016

Mr. Silver: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to rise today on behalf of the Liberal caucus to pay tribute to International Day of the Midwife. Each year on May 5, we mark International Day of the Midwife. This year’s theme is “Women and Newborns: The Heart of Midwifery”. The theme highlights midwives, ensuring women and newborns receive the quality of care that they deserve during and before and after delivery.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a quote out of my last year’s tribute to midwifery — and I quote: “There’s much work to be done here in the Yukon to support midwives… midwife-supported home births are not recognized in the same way that hospital births are… those who are from the communities who choose to travel to Whitehorse for midwife births are not offered the same support that they would receive if the parent had chosen to… come to Whitehorse because they want to be close to a hospital with maternity professionals, but they would prefer the privacy and the dignity that comes with having their baby in a home.”

In this budget, we will see over $100,000 to be added on to the Many Rivers contract to address issues in the communities of Faro and Ross River. Unfortunately, this is still true today. We do know that there has been a lot of discussion around the regulation of midwifery in Yukon and I want to thank the government for that. We do, however, remain one of the only jurisdictions in Canada that does not have legislated midwifery.

I would like to recognize on the floor of this House that women and families have an inherent right to choose how they give birth. As Members of the Legislative Assembly, we should support this right.

In many cultures represented in Canada and also across the Yukon, midwife-assisted home births are preferred and practised. Many of these cultures have ceremonial aspects to the birthing process and can be much less procedural-focused than a hospital setting. This is what we need to foster, Mr. Speaker.

I would like to thank those who have worked in support of Yukon midwives and the women and families who choose to hire them. Midwifery contributes greatly to the Yukon and it has my appreciation and my support.