Pallister Government Sets Stage for Major Tuition Fee Hikes; Imposes Wage Freeze on Thousands; Makes Voting Harder: Marcelino

March 20, 2017

Parents and families will have a harder time making ends meet as the Pallister government today introduced legislation that could see post-secondary tuition increase by up to 30 per cent over four years, Interim NDP Leader Flor Marcelino said.

Legislation also introduced today imposes wage freezes on thousands of front-line workers and causes disruption and uncertainty throughout the health-care system, Marcelino added.

“Brian Pallister has broken his promise to protect families and the services they rely on,” Marcelino said. “First, he locks in his 20 per cent raise, then hikes tuition by thousands of dollars for parents and students and forces a wage freeze on our front-line workers. Why does he expect families to cope with less and shoulder higher costs while he and his cabinet ministers enjoy their huge pay raises?”

The Pallister government introduced eight bills today – an unusually large number at one time –including legislation that will:

  • Impose a two-year wage freeze on front-line workers;

  • Allow post-secondary tuition to increase by up to 30 per cent over four years and allow hikes of course-related fees charged to students; and

  • Make it harder for low-income Manitobans and those in remote locations to vote by imposing onerous identification standards.

“This follows on Pallister’s reckless cuts to regional healthcare services and cancellation of major health-care projects, such as personal-care homes,” Marcelino said. “It also follows legislative changes last week that endanger the quality of our drinking water and the health of our lakes and rivers. This government is focused on reckless cuts but lacks any compassion or understanding for the very real challenges facing families.”

Marcelino urged the government to abandon its irresponsible path and take a balanced approach to governing for families in all parts of the province.

“The premier must stop shirking his responsibility and recognize that he has a duty to govern for all Manitobans,” Marcelino said. “He has to stop picking fights with everyone, stop cutting and start honouring his promises to protect families, health care and education.”