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This article was published 27/5/2014 (2235 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Conservative Leader Brian Pallister today blasted remarks by the province’s education minister at a Manitoba Teachers’ Society convention as "shameful" while maintaining that the numbers of teachers rose while he was a member of the Filmon cabinet in the mid-1990s.
Pallister said Education Minister James Allum could have used his speaking opportunity at the MTS meeting last week to "inspire" teachers and lay out the government’s vision for education.
Instead, he told them a scary fairy tale with Pallister as the big bad wolf.
"(It was) an attempt to use the professional educators of our province as partisan pawns in a political effort," Pallister told reporters.
On Thursday, Allum told the union representing 13,400 public school teachers that the NDP was on their side while Pallister represented an apocalypse of spending cuts and job losses.
"Despite what the polls may say, we’re not going to back down from the big bad wolf at the door," the minister said, referring to the fact that the Tories currently tower over the NDP in public opinion polls.
Pallister termed Allum’s comments as disrespectful and thoughtless.
He noted that he is a former teacher and MTS rep, and his mother, sister and other members of his family are or used to be teachers.
"I want our education system to grow and strengthen. I want our teachers to be empowered and encouraged. And I do not think that playing political games with the education system and the educators in this province is right," Pallister said.
He also said that in the close to two years he was a cabinet minister in the government of former Progressive Conservative premier Gary Filmon, education spending rose by $26.5 million.
"When I left provincial cabinet there were 30 more teachers employed in this province than when I came in," he said, adding the calculation is based on provincial education spending and teacher-student ratios at the time.
The NDP has run television ads saying that Pallister was part of a government that "cut" 700 teachers.
Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.
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Updated on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 5:09 PM CDT: Adds art of Pallister