The Manitoba Liberal Party is promising to invest in Manitoba's colleges and universities if elected on October 3.
“It’s said that if you want a guaranteed return on investment, put it into education,” says party leader Dougald Lamont. “Investing in quality education – and making sure it’s affordable for students and their families is the key to securing a better future for all Manitobans. That’s why we’re committing to improved funding so that we can have quality and affordability all in one.”
The Liberal Party says in a release that "high tuition fees and the worry of taking on unmanageable debt are major barriers to why many young people choose not to pursue higher education. For international students, inadequate health care coverage can lead to out-of-pocket spending on major medical bills."
The party's plan commits to providing graduates with debt relief when they stay in Manitoba by reinstating the tuition rebate program. The program, first conceived by the Manitoba Liberals in 2003, provides a rebate of up to 60% on all eligible tuition fees when students begin working.
They would also reinstate health coverage for international students.
Lamont said a major problem under the PCs has been political interference in wage mandates, as seen most recently at the University of Manitoba. During a faculty strike in 2016, the University of Manitoba was found guilty of engaging in unfair labour practices after the PC Government ordered them to impose a wage freeze.
"However, the NDP was no different," the release claims. "It also imposed multi-year wage freezes. In 2010-11 & 2011-12, the NDP imposed an across-the-board 'wage pause' on University of Manitoba faculty and staff."
“The PCs and NDP are both promising hundreds of millions of dollars of tax cuts, instead of making sure Manitoba’s health care and workforce needs are met,” says Lamont. “The NDP and PCs' entire campaigns are based entirely on how bad the other party and leader are."