Bill 64 threatens schools in northeast Winnipeg
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This article was published 16/06/2021 (716 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
For schools across Manitoba, the past 15 months have been incredibly challenging. Teachers are working harder than ever to facilitate virtual learning; parents are home with their kids while they adapt to the online classroom; and students are once again making sacrifices with in-person graduation ceremonies on hold.
It’s clear that teachers are stepping up and doing their best to help students flourish. Yet amidst a global pandemic when educators are already overwhelmed, the PC government is threatening further cuts and a misguided upheaval of our entire province’s school system with Bill 64.
My office in Concordia has been overwhelmed with calls and emails from concerned parents and educators worried about how Bill 64 will hurt our education system. The bill proposes abolishing school divisions throughout Manitoba and centralizing all decision-making power to the PC Minister’s office, leaving the Pallister government’s hand-picked political appointees in full control of our schools.
This means northeast Winnipeg will be left without local voices and representation in our schools, and could lead to the unique programs offered in the River East Transcona and Winnipeg School Divisions, such as Ukrainian, German, and Indigenous language bilingual programs, being cut. Meanwhile, the bill would also push much of the workload currently handled by school divisions onto volunteer-run school community councils, forcing one more commitment onto the plate of busy families.
Parents, educators, and our NDP team have all taken action to stop this reckless legislation in its tracks. While Pallister’s education minister has claimed it’s only a “vocal minority” concerned about these cuts, it’s clear that’s not the case. Thousands of lawn signs are dotting our community rallying against Bill 64, petitions against the legislation are gathering unprecedented numbers of signatures, and our NDP team has responded to the calls of countless educators by using our legislative powers to delay the bill until the fall.
Many have also asked me how they can help fight Bill 64. I would encourage anyone concerned about this bill to join the hundreds of Manitobans who have already signed up to speak against it at legislative committee this fall. Simply call the Legislative Clerk’s office at 204-945-3636 and tell them you’d like to speak to Bill 64 at committee.
If you would like more information about how Bill 64 will hurt our schools or to share your thoughts, I can be reached at 204-654-1857 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Concordia constituency report
Matt Wiebe is the NDP MLA for Concordia.