Skip to main content

The Premier misleads Manitobans when he says school boards spend most of their time on local taxes and bargaining with teachers

The  Premier has repeatedly said that most of the time of school boards is taken up with bargaining with teachers and dealing with local taxes.  In fact, in my discussions with school trustees, they say this is incorrect that the actual time is much lower - closer to 5%.   The Premier uses this misleading claim as a basis for getting rid of school boards. On Tuesday, March 23rd, I asked the Premier why he is misleading Manitobans in this way.  My question, in Question Period, and the Premier's response are below (from Hansard).   Anyone who questions the 5% figure I use can click on this video link for a conversation I had with Wendy Bloomfield the long time chair of the Seine River School Division.  

Education Modernization Act - Elimination of School Boards

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, the Premier has said that school boards have spent most of their time agonizing over local taxes and bargaining with teachers over wages, yet I have talked to school trustees and they tell me the proportion of time spent in these two activities is closer to 5 per cent, far less than the Premier's estimate.

      Did the Premier feel that he had to provide inaccurate information about school boards to justify putting forward Bill 64 because the real facts wouldn't support his elimination of elected school boards?

Hon. Brian Pallister (Premier): The member's logic, Madam Speaker, would escape any trustee in our province who is objectively looking at the situation. He could talk to colleagues in this room, if he would choose to, who would tell him the proportion of work that is spent on these issues is very large for trustees. Negotiating in each school division takes tremendous time and effort, and we respect the work of trustees over many years in doing it.

      Also, Madam Speaker, because we're changing the system to centralize the bargaining, that work is no longer needing to be done. The collection of local taxes and the establishment of the mill rate takes onerous work and the calculations and the tabulations that must be done are tremendous. He could ask any of a half a dozen people in this room who've done this work.

      He belittles the work of trustees. We do not, Madam Speaker. We respect the work of trustees in the past, but the work is not the work that we're going to do, going forward, to empower our teachers in the classroom.

      And so, again, the Liberals and NDP are sure that the present system is fine for them, but if it doesn't work for the children of our province, it doesn't work for this government either.


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