Skip to main content

Manitoba teachers should be supported, not attacked as the Pallister PCs are doing.

Supporting public education is one of the most important roles of the provincial government.   A strong education system is vital to ensure that all children can reach their potential.  It is crucial that we have a system which gives all children the opportunity they need, children from all parts of Manitoba and children with learning disabilities as well as those who learn easily.

It is therefore very hard to understand why the Pallister PCs feel they must attack some of the most critical people in our province – our teachers.   Sadly this is the case.

Norm Gould, the President of the Manitoba Teachers Society, told members of  the Manitoba Legislature, following the provincial election of April 19, 2016, he was “optimistic that we would be able to work with government to develop options to improve the government’s fiscal situation”.   Even when the government started its attack on teachers, Mr. Gould said “the Manitoba Teacher’s Society remains committed to working with the Manitoba government to address these fiscal challenges in an authentic, meaningful way.”

But, sadly the Pallister government would not listen to and would not work with Mr. Gould and Manitoba teachers.  Instead, as Mr. Gould has pointed out, the Pallister government unilaterally implemented its plan so that “over the next four years teachers will have contributed $271.5 million in lost income to the Minister of Finance and to this government.”

In its 2017 budget the government reduced the increase in the budget for school divisions to 1%.  Last week the PC government announced it would only increase the budget for public schools by 0.5%. Further, 21 school divisions received cuts to their programs.  These actions are hamstringing school boards and teachers in their efforts to teach young Manitobans and to give them opportunities. 

But even more than the reduction in funding for public schools, the Pallister PCs have forgotten that they were elected on a promise to improve learning for students.   The Pallister government has been in office two years and has yet to produce any vision or to implement actions to improve education.  They have been solely fixated on attacking teachers, on decreasing the salaries of teachers and on reducing the pensions of teachers. 

Last week, to add to the attacks on teachers, the Pallister government announced it will move, unilaterally, without even talking to teachers, to impose provincial bargaining on teachers.   As Norm Gould has said to the teachers – “We were blindsided. Your salary will be frozen.  Your pension will be reduced by 30%.  The Pallister government will impose provincial bargaining on you and your colleagues starting July 1.” 

As Mr. Gould has pointed out, his “proposals and openness to work with government were repeatedly dismissed.” He and the teachers of Manitoba have been betrayed by this government.   It is abhorrent that the Pallister PCs continue to launch attacks on Manitoba teachers.  Manitoba Liberals will stand up for teachers and for working with teacher in our province in our provincial effort to improve education for all.

Below is a press release our Liberal Caucus sent out today. 

Manitoba Liberals Give PCs a Failing Grade on Education

WINNIPEG – Halfway through their four-year mandate, the Pallister government has done nothing to improve Manitoba’s education system. With twenty-one school divisions receiving cuts to their funding this year, the PCs have failed Manitobans.

The Pallister government has shown zero leadership on Indigenous education issues during a time when we’re seeing graduation rates for Indigenous students sitting at an alarmingly low rate of 47.6%, compared to 86.2% for non-indigenous students.

The cuts will also affect one of the most successful First Nation education projects in Canada. The local school board in Rossburn has a partnership with Waywayseecappo that sees federal funding being matched with local funding - but if local funding goes down, it will on the reserve as well. 

Instead of working collaboratively with Manitoba Teachers to build a stronger education system, the PCs have blindsided them with a 0% pay increase, and reductions in support including in salaries and pensions. They have also failed to address critical gaps, for example in addressing learning disabilities.

We’ve seen countless studies that show education is a vital social determinant for involvement in our justice systems and employment. This is an issue about the future of Manitoba and where we want to see our province heading.

The PCs seem to think they can cut their way out of problems but they are only pushing those issues onto future generations to solve. We need ideas, not cuts.


Dougald Lamont, Manitoba Liberal Leader
Judy Klassen, MLA for Kewatinook
Cindy Lamoureux, MLA for Burrows
Jon Gerrard, MLA for River Heights

Media Contact:
(204) 771 – 2513


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Dougald Lamont speaks at Meth Forum last night to present positive ideas to address the epidemic, while exposing the lack of action by the Pallister Conservatives

Last night at the Notre Dame Recreation Centre in St. Boniface, at an Election Forum on the Meth Crisis in Manitoba, Dougald Lamont spoke eloquently about the severity of the meth epidemic and described the Liberal plan to address it.  The Liberal Plan will make sure that there is a single province-wide phone number for people, or friends of people, who need help dealing with meth to call (as there is in Alberta) and that there will be rapid access to a seamless series of steps - stabilization, detoxification, treatment, extended supportive housing etc so that people with meth addiction can be helped well and effectively and so that they can rebuild their lives.  The Liberal meth plan will be helped by our approach to mental health (putting psychological therapies under medicare), and to poverty (providing better support).  It will also be helped by our vigorous efforts to help young people understand the problems with meth in our education system and to provide alternative positive

Manitoba Liberal accomplishments

  Examples of Manitoba Liberal accomplishments in the last three years Ensured that 2,000 Manitoba fishers were able to earn a living in 2020   (To see the full story click on this link ). Introduced a bill that includes retired teachers on the Pension Investment Board which governs their pension investments. Introduced amendments to ensure school aged children are included in childcare and early childhood education plans moving forward. Called for improvements in the management of the COVID pandemic: ·          We called for attention to personal care homes even before there was a single case in a personal care home. ·            We called for a rapid response team to address outbreaks in personal care homes months before the PCs acted.  ·          We called for a science-based approach to preparing schools to   improve ventilation and humidity long before the PCs acted. Helped hundreds of individuals with issues during the pandemic including those on social assistance

The Indigenous Science Conference in Winnipeg June 14-16

  June 14 to 16, I spent three days at the Turtle Island Indigenous Science Conference.  It was very worthwhile.   Speaker after speaker talked of the benefits of using both western or mainstream science and Indigenous science.  There is much we can learn from both approaches.   With me above is Myrle Ballard, one of the principal organizers of the conference.  Myrle Ballard, from Lake St. Martin in Manitoba, worked closely with Roger Dube a professor emeritus at Rochester Institute of Technology, and many others to make this conference, the first of its kind, a success.  As Roger Dube, Mohawk and Abenaki, a physicist, commented "My feeling is that the fusion of traditional ecological knowledge and Western science methodology should rapidly lead the researchers to much more holistic solutions to problems."   Dr. Myrle Ballard was the first person from her community to get a PhD.  She is currently a professor at the University of Manitoba and the Director of Indigenous Science