Kate White Announces “Bundle of Joy” Commitments

Today, Kate White stood with parents, expectant parents, toddlers and babies and announced her “Bundle of Joy”, the Yukon NDP’s commitment to expectant parents and birthing people. 

“The decision to become a parent comes with a lot of worries,” said Kate White. “We’re going to make it a little easier to be a new or soon-to-be parent.

Watch the announcement here https://www.facebook.com/YukonNDP/videos/276567764067792.

“To get ongoing fertility treatment, we have to move out of the Yukon because of the lack of supports available to meet our needs,” said Lauren Porter, a parent who joined Kate at the announcement. “So, on top of the cost of the treatment, we’re paying to travel, and to move, and when you add on top of that the quarantine we’ll have to do – it’s really stressful.”

“Our only option if we wanted to have our family was to move out of the place we love. We never wanted to do that.”

The plan includes:

  • Midwifery: To match the specific needs for midwives in both Whitehorse and the communities, we’ll reassess demand quarterly and train and recruit midwives to deliver culturally appropriate services. Midwives are an integral part of the care team for people who give birth. They are primary health care professionals and must be fully integrated into health care settings with the access they need to do their job. 
  • Perinatal Mental Health Strategy: To make it easier and less intimidating for people to access the mental health care they need, we’ll cover the cost of treatment and strike a Parents’ Perinatal Mental Health task force to reduce stigma and connect people with the help that’s right for them. 
  • Fertility Treatments: To help prospective parents with the high costs of fertility treatments, we’ll provide a rebate of up to $8,000 per year for 5 years of treatment. 
  • Birth Centre: To give prospective parents an option more comfortable than a hospital to give birth, working with midwives, we’ll look into building a birth centre. It will be close to the hospital, and incorporate traditional Yukon First Nation birthing practices, up-to-date and current birthing aids.

White was joined by Porter Creek Centre Candidate Shonagh McCrindle, who talked about her experience having a new baby since announcing her candidacy. 

“I want everyone to be able to give birth in a healthy way, with their physical and mental needs met in the way that they would like them met,” said McCrindle. “If it takes a village to raise a child, then our whole Territory needs to be a village. That’s what today’s announcement is about.”