Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg, MB - Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont, MLA for St Boniface, says the PCs "guidance" to superintendents and principals for school closures shows the government is still seriously disorganized 14 months after the pandemic was first declared in March 2020.
The e-mail asks principals and superintendents to contact public health officials, but the links provided for WRHA public health has no covid-specific contacts, though it does list offices for Tobacco control, Tuberculosis, and tropical diseases.
Once principals or superintendents get public health advice, they are directed to take the official's name, contact information and advice, and share it with the Department of Education's "Notification Support Team."
Lamont said aside from the basic lack of organization, he is concerned that the PCs will keep up their pattern of ignoring experts and front-line workers for political reasons.
"There are 200,000 students in K-12 who can't be vaccinated, and teachers and people in education haven't been made a priority," said Lamont. "At every turn in this pandemic, principals and superintendents have shown creativity, competence - everything the PCs have lacked. We should listen to them and let them do their jobs."
Lamont said the PCs need to change tack with the third wave and new variants that are much more infectious and affect younger populations.
"In the first wave, we had a total lockdown, schools were closed, and we took cases way down. The PCs reopened hard, refused to shut down and Manitoba had the worst second wave in Canada," said Lamont. "The Pallister government is choosing to let more people get sick than need to be, because they're not willing to spend the money to make people safe. There's no other way of putting it. "