On Tuesday March 31, we raised concerns about the impact of school closures on education assistants, bus driver and other workers in schools and on child care in Manitoba. Our press release is below:
March 31, 2020
WINNIPEG - Manitoba Liberals say the PCs announcement of school closures is just the latest announcement from the Pallister Government that has created more problems when it tries to solve one.
"The announcement today of school closures for the COVID-19 pandemic makes no mention of assisting parents at home, or what will happen to education workers or the child care sector," said Dougald Lamont, Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party and the MLA for St. Boniface. "We don't know what is going to happen for vulnerable kids, for workers who may be laid off, or what will happen in child care. These are all questions the government should be able to answer now, and they clearly are not."
The letter from the Minister to school boards simply warns that any "savings" have to be put into a separate fund.
The questions the Manitoba Liberals say need to be answered:
· What is being done to support parents with children who are low-income, or special needs, especially families who can't afford technology like computers or internet to study at home?
· Is the government going to lay off people in the education system, or keep paying them to ensure economic stability?
· Will education workers facing layoffs be eligible for 75% wage support?
· Given the school closures, what is the plan for Early Childhood Education, because virtually none of the assistance announced to date helps existing ECE centres?
"This government has been offering a drip feed of information to MLAs and to the public, and that has got to change," said Lamont.