Why the NDP is delaying Bill 64


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This article was published 09/04/2021 (782 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

What kind of place should school be for our kids?

When I talk to parents, including those in my constituency of Fort Rouge, they tell me they want public schools to be places where all kids feel welcome and their families know their children can reach their full potential. Schools should be places where kids feel happy and confident.

And when I talk to educators, they tell me school should be a safe place where kids can learn but also find things they need, such as a warm breakfast or winter gloves. Schools should be places that gives kids what they need to learn.

That’s why the Progressive Conservatives’ new education bill, Bill 64, is so disappointing to parents and educators. Instead of seizing an opportunity to make school a better place for kids, it focuses on cuts.

It does nothing to reduce class sizes and give our kids the attention they deserve. It does nothing to address the learning loss our kids faced in the pandemic. And it ignores challenges such as poverty, mental health and additional needs — the things that must be addressed so kids can focus on learning.

As a dad, I’ve seen how my kids’ learning experiences have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. When I talk to other parents and educators they agree — the past two years have been hardest on our kids.

Even before the pandemic, there were parts of Manitoba schools that needed improvement. Things like making class sizes smaller so teachers can spend one-on-one time with students, stronger mental health services to help kids in crisis and more supports for kids with additional needs.

Parents and educators need time to learn about the harmful changes in this bill and make their voices heard. That’s why the NDP caucus decided to use its abilities under legislative rules to delay the passage of Bill 64 until the fall.

The delay will give parents and educators more time to learn about the bill’s affect on classrooms, and to mobilize against the PCs’ plan for cuts.

The first step is signing up to speak directly to the Minister of Education and other legislators about Bill 64 at a public committee meeting this fall. Call 204 945-3636 to register, and visit the Manitoba Legislative Assembly website to learn more.


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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