Leading up to the provincial election on September 10, 2019 MTS will be providing information on this page regarding the campaign in general and education issues specifically.
In addition to the party leaders’ responses on education related questions, we will also be posting promises made during the campaign and links to a variety of sources to help you make an informed choice on Election Day.
Parties and Leaders: Performance and Perceptions by Probe Research
See the Manitoba 2019 election survey results here.
Tories Propose Elimination of Education Property Taxes
The Progressive Conservatives are promising to gradually phase out education property taxes over the course of a decade, if re-elected.
The proposal is to start eliminating the levy in 2023, after the budget in balanced in 2022, another promise the Tories have made.
The estimated $830 million education tax revenue would come out of general revenues.
Statement from James Bedford on the PC Party plan to remove education tax from property:
“This announcement raises more questions than answers.
The Manitoba government has a constitutional responsibility to guarantee a quality education for the students of this province. Teachers expect the provincial government to provide equitable long-term funding for the resources and programs that our students across Manitoba need to succeed.
The Manitoba Teachers’ Society supports a model in which public school education is 100 per cent funded by the provincial government. This would improve equity across divisions and ensure long-term sustainability.
Without further details, this plan appears to be a massive tax shift with no provision to sustainably meet the complex and evolving needs of today’s public school students.
It must not represent a long-term cut to the education system.
We would welcome further details on this announcement, and look forward to continued discussion with government on our ideas to improve education in Manitoba through representations to the K-12 Education Review Committee.”
Poverty on the Agenda
More than 150 community members filled Knox United Church in Winnipeg’s inner city, on Tuesday, August 20th, to hear political candidates speak about their party’s plan for ending poverty.
Moderator Richard Cloutier opened the event with a chilling statistic – a child born into poverty is likely to die eight years earlier than one born into in a wealthy neighbourhood.
NDP Leader Wab Kinew and Green Party Leader James Beddome were both in attendance, while the Liberals sent Wolseley candidate Shandi Strong. There was no representative from the Progressive Conservatives.
The participants had many ideas to reduce poverty, but the one point on which they all agreed was the need for a basic income.
The Green Party has advocated for a basic income for many years and is the only party to have a fully costed proposal. Under the Green Party proposal, a single adult family would be guaranteed $7,200 annually, while a two adult family would receive $10,180. Although the plan would not eliminate poverty entirely, Beddome said that it would lift 35,000 adults and 23,000 children out of poverty. The plan would cut child poverty by 60 per cent by 2021.
The NDP plan would move towards a basic income by removing the “welfare wall” from the Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) program as a disincentive to work, and bring in a $15 per hour minimum wage. Kinew said that no one who works fulltime in Manitoba should have to live in poverty. He also said that a NDP government would tax an extra one per cent on the top income earners ($250,000 plus) and use the revenue to invest in public services.
Liberal representative Shandi Strong said that the current EIA system is designed to punish people out of poverty and is unfair to anyone who depends on it to survive. She said that a Liberal government would work to eliminate poverty in its first term by reforming EIA as well as introducing three complementary programs that provide individuals with choice as well as the opportunity to work through the “Manitoba Works for Good”, a job program that would pay unemployed individuals to do jobs in the public interest, as an alternative to EIA or basic income.
When asked specifically about removing the barriers to education due to poverty, all three candidates acknowledged that barriers such as hunger exist and need to be addressed before students get into the classroom, however no real commitments were made to dealing with the issue apart from reiterating their plans to implement a basic income.
The Manitoba Teachers’ Society identified hunger in the classroom as the number one barrier to education for students living in poverty, and is calling for establishment of a universal meal school program for all students in the K-12 public school system.
Election 2019 Media Coverage
Includes links to leaders’ bios, constituency profiles, campaign promises, party websites and more.
Who is My Candidate?
Manitoba’s political parties are currently nominating candidates to run in the provincial election on Tuesday, September 10, 2019.
You can find the candidates running in your constituency here.
If there is no candidate listed in your area, please check back as the list is frequently updated.
Provincial Political Parties
There are 57 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. A party must win 29 seats to form a majority government. Currently, the provincial Conservative government has 38 seats, the NDP have 12 and the Liberals have four. The remaining three seats are held by independent members (no party affiliation).
Are You Registered to Vote?
If you have voted in past elections, then your name will appear on the Manitoba Voter Register. However, if you have moved since the last election and not updated your contact information you might not be registered to vote in the appropriate riding.
Check here to see if you are registered to vote, register if not listed as well as update your information in advance of Election Day.
Please note, you can to register to vote on Election Day, simply bring government issued photo identification, or two other documents with your name to the voting location.
New Electoral Boundaries in Effect
Every 10 years, under The Electoral Divisions Act, Manitoba’s electoral boundaries are reviewed to reflect population changes in an effort to keep roughly 22,000 residents in each riding.
When you head to the polls this September, 56 of the 57 ridings will look a little different. Some of the changes include the addition of a new riding in Winnipeg and 14 ridings being renamed.
Check out the new boundaries and make sure you are up to date on where and when voting takes place.
When Do I Vote?
Election Day is Tuesday, September 10, 2019 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.. If you are unable to vote on Election Day, you can vote in the advanced polls. We will let you know the dates once they become available.
You are expected to vote in the three consecutive hours, after the end of school, between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. However, in situations where an individual does not have three consecutive hours in his/her schedule from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, he/she is entitled to receive three hours to vote, as per The Elections Act.
Make Education a Priority
In this election, there are issues such as class size and composition that touch on education directly, while others such as the number of students coming to school hungry indirectly affect education. These issues and many others must be addressed to give Manitoba’s students the best chance at success.