Teacher across the province were shocked by the closure of the Manitoba Curriculum Support Centre (MCSC). Manitoba Liberals support educators calling on the government to reverse the decision. The Pallister Government is using phony numbers to justify closing the Curriculum Support Centre. The government’s own documents show nearly 10,000 teachers depend on it. Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen claimed the centre was being “under-utilized,” when data from Goertzen’s own 2018 Manitoba Education and Training Annual Report show that 9,752 or 65% of Manitoba educators are active users of the centre. This really shows what a sham the K-12 review of education in Manitoba is going to be, because you have a government that already ignores its own numbers and is delivering surprise cuts to valuable services - all before the review is seriously underway. Goertzen has justified the change by saying the centre will shift to providing services by Internet, which makes little sense, when parts of Manitoba are either unserved or underserved by the Internet.
LEAD CONTAMINATION Last week, the Pallister Government released a new report on lead levels. The report does not mention lead levels in St. Boniface, it does not produce a plan to clean up contaminated sites, and it is not available online. This government’s inaction on lead levels continues to put Manitobans' health at risk. In Question Period on Thursday, I questioned the government on their lack of action on this issue. Watch here. WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: After latest review on lead in soil, the province plans further study
Our caucus brought up the issue of the provincial government spending money on self-promotion billboards in the house this week. It is a complete waste of public money to spend on this type of advertising. Not only were the PCs against it when the NDP were in power, but we've also been asking the government to launch a prevention and awareness campaign against the dangers of using Meth. CBC did a little digging and found out the advertising cost Manitobans $173, 000. CBC: $173K spent to trumpet PST cut a waste of taxpayers' money, Liberals argue
ST. BONIFACE CLINIC CLOSURES Premier Pallister's sudden decision to close the Family Clinic in St. Boniface will leave thousands of patients without a doctor. There was no reasonable explanation given. We have heard that the closure has left more than 3,000 patients, many of whom have been there for decades, without a doctor. I challenged the Premier on the issue in Question Period on Tuesday, watch the video here.
ELECTIONS FINANCING The PC government recently introduced legislation to change the way elections are financed. There is room for reform in campaign financing, but it shouldn't be used by the party in power to rig elections in their favour or to try and gain the system with the goal of creating a permanent conservative majority. The bill undermines democracy and fair elections by making it more difficult for anyone other than the wealthy to participate and discouraging people from running. The bill directly benefits their own party and dismisses others. When asked about it in question period, they denied any wrong-doing. Watch here.
MANITOBA CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE LEADERS SERIES BREAKFAST I was very pleased to be invited to speak at the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce Leaders Series Breakfast on Thursday. It was an honour to share my vision for growing Manitoba’s economy and discuss the future of Manitoba.
Thank you to Advocis and to all financial advisors at the MLA reception this week. I really appreciated learning about their work with clients. We are happy to support them in their efforts to get stronger protections for consumers and clients.
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All the best, Dougald Lamont MLA St. Boniface, Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party