Premier Greg Selinger stopped just short Friday morning of declaring, "Apres moi, le deluge."

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This article was published 18/3/2016 (2086 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Premier Greg Selinger stopped just short Friday morning of declaring, "Apres moi, le deluge."

The French prediction of doom, attributed to Louis XV, Madame Bovary, and even Charles de Gaulle, in effect means, if you boot me out, doomsday immediately follows.

But the operative word of the day in both English and French was "protection", with the NDP imploring Manitobans to accept that only by re-electing the New Democrats can they protect the quality of education.

"Today's announcement is about protecting things," said Selinger.

Backed by northwest riding incumbent candidates Dave Chomiak, Melanie Wight, and Mohinder Saran, Selinger went to the woodworking shop at Garden City Collegiate to re-announce January spending promises of $125 million in capital improvements for high schools and in-school day cares.

Selinger had first unveiled the money during a spree of spending promises prior to the mid-January pre-election blackout on financial announcements.

The money would go for new in-school day cares, new high school shops, science labs, technology, performing arts facilities, and safety improvements. Selilnger said they would only be guaranteed if his party wins the April 19 election and tables Manitoba's 2016 budget.

"They'll graduate high school with a skill that gives them a job right away," Selinger said of Garden City's vocational students. "We're going to be protecting investments."

Selinger reminded his news conference that Conservative leader Brian Pallister said earlier this week the province has no sacred cows --- a reminder that will likely be used often on the campaign.

"He has said to the Manitoba Teachers' Society, he would not lay off teachers," Selinger acknowledged, but Pallister has said he would not prevent school boards from doing so.

On education funding, "He's made no commitment, he's been silent on it," said Selinger.

Selinger said the NDP has no intention of taking away taxing powers from school boards and shifting 100 per cent of education funding to the province --- he challenged educators to envision Pallister having 100 per cent control over what is spent on education.

Pointing to Seven Oaks School Division superintendent Brian O'Leary, Selinger quipped, "Brian O'Leary would have a conniption."

Seven Oaks suffers from a low commercial assessment base --- it has some of the city's highest taxes, yet, counterintuitively, some of the lowest per-student spending, because homeowners carry the overwhelming share of paying school taxes.

Selinger wouldn't say if the NDP would ever share commercial assessment among all divisions, but pointed out that, "Every year, we make improvements in our equalization formula."

Asked by reporters to shift gears, Selinger said the NDP still believes in abolishing the Senate, but as long as the Senate exists, then Manitoba nominees Justice Murray Sinclair and Raymonde Gagne, former president of the Universite de Saint-Boniface, are as good as you'll find anywhere.

"If there's going to be one, we want the best people possible," said Selinger.

The NDP leader's only other scheduled appearance Friday was a visit to the Icelandic Festival of Lights at Canad Inns Polo Park.

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca