Post-secondary cuts reversed by province

By | May 27, 2020

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government has reversed its decision to cut funding to post-secondary institutions.

Premier Brian Pallister confirmed the news during a press conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building on Wednesday, saying the decision was made following discussions with Ralph Eichler, Minister of Economic Development and Training.

“The post-secondary aspects of our recovery are really critical right now, and we’re in a dynamic time,” Pallister told reporters.

Universities and colleges across the province had their operating grants reduced by the province in the 2020 budget. Earlier in the spring, the province asked post-secondary institutions to develop plans for staff cuts of 10, 20, or 30 per cent.

Now, the Manitoba government has created a one-time Transitional Support Fund of $25.6 million for post-secondary institutions.

“The value of the fund represents the restoration of the one per cent reduction in funding announced in Budget 2020 as well as savings recently identified in staffing and operations that stem from campuses being closed and pandemic travel restrictions,” Eichler wrote to CTV News in a statement.

Eichler’s statement added the province will work with post-secondary institutions to develop plans for the funding. The money will be used to help enhance online learning resources, accommodate enrolment changes for international students, and align programming to labour market demands, among other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The plans will be shared with the Department of Economic Development and Training by Sept. 15, when more of the impacts of COVID-19 on institutions will be known,” the statement reads.

Pallister said more information on how the money will be spent will be released following discussions with post-secondary institutions.

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