Investing in safer schools


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This article was published 28/01/2022 (490 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Last week, Fort Rouge families sent their kids back to school. We know kids learn best when they’re in the classroom surrounded by their friends and teachers. That’s why it’s so important the Progressive  Conservative government makes the investments needed to keep our schools open safely.

Unfortunately, like so many other aspects of the pandemic, the PCs continue to make cuts instead of protecting Manitobans.

Two weeks ago my NDP team presented a five-point plan to make schools safer and support families with remote learning. Our plan will help keep schools open, keep families safe and give school staff the protection they need to feel confident in their work.

The science is clear that masks, tests and ventilation are important tools to reducing the spread of COVID-19. That’s why we called on the PCs to get rapid tests and high-quality masks into the hands of families and school staff and upgrade ventilation systems in every school. Not only will better ventilation help avoid transmission, it will also help keep kids in school during cold and flu session too.

We know that COVID-19 isn’t going away overnight. Families need help as they juggle periods of working and learning from home, and schools need more staff to cover sick leaves. That’s why we’re calling on the PCs to hire more mental health counsellors and put substitute teachers on contract for the remainder of the school year.

As we work together to protect our communities, we know that families will continue to isolate when needed, and in some cases, classes or cohorts may need to move to brief periods of remote learning. We need to make this transition as smooth as possible for families that’s why we’re asking the PCs to give every family a dedicated at-home-learning benefit to help cover the costs of at-home learning.

We know that remote learning requires additional resources — everything from laptops to faster internet and subscriptions — and for students with exceptional needs the price tag is even higher. After almost two years of remote learning, the costs are adding up and families need support.

Manitoba families deserve a government that does all it can to keep our children in school safely. We put forward this plan to put pressure on the government to do the right thing and protect families and school staff.

Do you have other ideas on what the government should do to keep you and your family safe? I want to hear them. Email me at or call my office at 204- 615-1922.

Wab Kinew

Wab Kinew
Fort Rouge constituency report

Wab Kinew is the NDP MLA for Fort Rouge and leader of the Manitoba New Democratic Party.

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