REALITY CHECK ON PALLISTER’S EDUCATION RECORD
Why should Manitobans believe Pallister?
The first thing Pallister did when he took office was to cancel new schools in Brandon and Winnipeg. Since then he has not completed one new school – and he unnecessarily delayed school construction to suit his own political agenda. Over the past three years enrollment grew by over 4,000 more students from 204,750 enrolled in Sept. 2016 to 208,796 in Sept. 2018 (Manitoba Enrollment Report), but Pallister chose to cut instead.
“Schools in Winnipeg and Brandon were shovel-ready when Pallister took office but he cancelled construction and instead students and families are still waiting for schools that should have been already built. Pallister says one thing and does another – he claims he will build schools, but his record shows he prefers cuts rather than investments. Why should Manitobans believe Pallister now?” said Erin Selby, Manitoba NDP spokesperson. “Brian Pallister also told us he wouldn’t cut health care – any one driving by three closed Emergency Rooms can tell you how that turned out."
PC funding for education has been a de facto cut every year. PC cuts have hit our education system hard:
• In 2017, Pallister cut the amount spent on school capital by $25 million
• In 2017, the overall education budget was underspent by $40 million
• Pallister cut money for important projects like the Community Field Project at Dakota Collegiate and the new Gym for Kelvin High School – while giving hundreds of thousands in contracts to KPMG to privatize
(Source: Public Schools Finance Board Report; Public Accounts)
And after three years of increasing class sizes and making life harder for students and teachers in Manitoba, Pallister actively refused millions from the federal government to make much-need repairs to our children’s schools.
“There’s more school cuts to come from Pallister – his ‘review’ of our kids’ education system is laying the groundwork for even more cuts,” said Selby. “The Manitoba NDP built 22 new schools and 13 expansions during our mandates”.