WINNIPEG - If the Pallister Government's forced cuts to Manitoba's colleges and universities go through, it will hobble the province's ability to bounce back from the pandemic, says Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont.
Lamont said there is widespread opposition and no clear support for Pallister's announcement of deep cuts to municipalities, crown corporations, not-for-profits, colleges and universities. The organizations were asked for cuts of 10%, 20% and 30%, because the government wants to cut spending by $1.25-billion during the worst recession in decades.
"Unless the PCs change direction, their legacy is going to be that they decimated the economy and post-secondary education, and left nothing in its place." said Lamont. "The PCs seem to be suggesting that post-secondary education is a luxury we can't afford, when it is a necessity we can't do without."
In recent days, there have been op-eds from business leaders, and even a professor of finance at the University of Manitoba, who is a PC member, saying that the Pallister plan for layoffs and cuts is not just bad, but dangerous.
"Now, more than ever we should be trying to save jobs in Manitoba. It's unfortunate and unacceptable that the Pallister government is using the pandemic to push forward his agenda for cuts," said Tanjit Nagra, a former President of UMSU and current Vice President Academic of the University of Manitoba Graduate Students Association. "Education is one of the best investments we can make in our future - the University of Manitoba has a $2.4 billion dollar impact in our economy and has generated 15,828 Manitoba jobs. It's important that we support the U of M and all post-secondary institutions during these unprecedented times."
"Manitobans should reject the PCs call to 'do their part' in cutting and do everything that they can to resist. We should be doing everything we can to keep people in jobs and keep paying them. Layoff and cuts will make the economy worse and make it harder to recover," said Lamont.