Supporting a safe return to school


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/08/2021 (648 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

As summer comes to a close, I know that getting our kids back to school safely is top of mind for Union Station families. Parents especially are worried about what this fall, and the potential of a fourth wave of COVID-19, will mean for our schools.

My NDP colleagues and I have been talking to Manitobans about what our schools need this September.

While the government was silent, we put forward a five-point plan to protect our kids. We called on the province to upgrade school ventilation systems, set up in-school vaccine clinics to help families and staff to get vaccinated, create smaller class sizes by hiring more teachers, education assistants and other support staff, increase mental health supports, and implement paid sick leave so families can afford to stay home when their kids are sick.

Instead, the Progressive Conservatives have removed the mask mandate, one of our least restrictive tools to fight COVID-19.

The PC government’s priorities are out of touch with the needs of Manitobans. Instead of making classrooms safe for September, they’re focused on their own internal conflict, silencing opposing views, and wasting money to promote Bill 64. Bill 64 would amalgamate all Winnipeg school divisions into one region, making it harder for Union Station parents from marginalized communities to have their voices heard.

The day after Premier Pallister announced his intentions to resign, I stood with NDP leader Wab Kinew and several of my colleagues outside the Legislature to call on the PC cabinet ministers to make a choice – keep Mr. Pallister’s legislative legacy alive or withdraw his harmful legislation.

We delayed five of the PCs worst bills this past spring, including Bill 64, and since then a vocal majority of Manitobans have publicly criticized the bill and signed up to speak at committee in record numbers.

I want all Union Station families and educators to know that I am standing with you and I will fight for you to have a voice in your children’s education. I will continue to push this PC government for the resources our kids need to be safe, for mental health and educational supports, and paid sick leave so kids and caregivers can stay home when they are sick.

Our kids and educators have sacrificed so much during this pandemic – they deserve our support and commitment to keeping them safe.

Do you have concerns about back to school this fall?

Contact my office anytime at 204-306-8581 or

Uzoma Asagwara

Uzoma Asagwara
Union Station constituency report

Uzoma Asagwara is the NDP MLA for Union Station.

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