Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Will NDP keep post-secondary funding vow?

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COULD the Selinger government be reneging on its funding promise to universities and colleges?

A week after Alberta backtracked on its commitment, Advanced Education Minister Erin Selby refused repeatedly Monday to confirm the province would carry out its promise to increase grants five per cent next school year and to cap tuition increases at cost of living.

"You'll have to wait and see the budget on April 16," Selby said repeatedly in an interview at an event at the University of Manitoba.

Reminded several times this will be the third year of a three-year funding commitment, Selby had the same answer each time: "Our commitment is to make sure our universities and colleges are well-funded and are affordable," she said.

Universities have been preparing their budgets for next September based on receiving five per cent increases in government operating grants, and on having tuition topped at about 1.5 per cent.

"I'm waiting for the budget, too," U of M president David Barnard said Monday. "I am aware of the pressures the government is under."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 19, 2013 A6

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