NDP, Families Call on PCs to Implement a Safe Back to School Plan

July 27, 2021

Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg MB—Today the Manitoba NDP stood with parents and educators to demand the PCs make a safe and successful school year for students across the province their number one priority. The NDP outlined 5 areas the PCs need to invest in so that parents and educators feel confident about the upcoming school year.

“Kids have sacrificed so much throughout the pandemic,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “It’s time for the PC government to step up and make a safe school year their number one priority so kids can get the one-on-one attention they deserve and parents can feel good about sending their kids back to school.”

Instead of getting to work making classrooms safe for the September, the PCs are wasting time, focusing all their attention on their own internal conflict, and wasting money to promote Bill 64. While families wait for a plan from the PC government, the Manitoba NDP have highlighted five areas the PCs need to invest in to ensure students and their families are safe and supported in the coming school year.

• Hire more full-time teachers, substitutes, EAs, and clinicians, and reduce class sizes so kids can be safely distanced and get the one-on-one attention they deserve.

• Set up vaccine clinics in schools to ensure easy access and culturally-specific education for families.

• Hire more school clinicians and increase in-school mental health supports for students, families and school staff.

• Create a province-wide standard for ventilation in schools and invest in HVAC upgrades and air purifiers to ensure classrooms are safe for children.

• Create a comprehensive, mandatory paid sick leave program so parents and caregivers don’t have to sacrifice a paycheck to stay home with kids who are self-isolating.

“Our Caucus has been listening to parents and educators throughout the pandemic” said NDP Education Critic Nello Altomare. “We’re here today to raise their voices and send a clear message to the PC government: if we start planning now we can have solutions that work for kids and teachers, solutions that experts say are doable and affordable.”