Candidates from Manitoba's four major political parties discussed education issues at a CBC Manitoba debate Tuesday evening.
In a live chat between 6:15 p.m. and 7 p.m., moderated by the CBC's Chris Glover and Donna Lee, viewers were invited to send in any questions they had on the topic of education, to be answered by the party's representatives. The representatives also had the opportunity to ask each other questions.
Taking part were:
- Paul Brault — Liberal candidate for Charleswood.
- Jeannette Montufar — Progressive Conservative candidate for Fort Garry-Riverview.
- Stacey O'Neill — Green Party candidate for Midland.
- Lise Pinkos — NDP candidate for Seine River.
All four candidates participated in a short televised debate on CBC Winnipeg News starting at 6:15 p.m. They then took your questions in a live chat until 7 p.m.
You can catch up on what the candidates said in our chat recap below.
All this week, CBC Manitoba is hosting a nightly debate on the election issues facing voters. Chris Glover will be joined by representatives of the political parties on CBC Television and online from 6:15 to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday. Join the live chat and engage with the parties and other voters by visiting cbc.ca/manitoba.
This debate is in addition to, and does not replace, the leaders' debate that will be broadcast live on CBC Television on April 12.
Missed our live chat on health-care issues on Monday? You can read what the candidates said here.
Education issues are garnering notable interest in the province's upcoming election.
A 2013 report by the Pan-Canadian Assessment Program shows that Manitoba is currently lagging behind other provinces when it comes to students' performance in science, math, and literacy even though schools' operating expenses have continued to rise.
- Manitoba students worst in Canada in math, science and reading
- Liberals would introduce full-day kindergarten if elected
- NDP promises millions in funding to enhance programs at Manitoba schools
- PCs promise to boost literacy in elementary schools
These scores are worse compared to the last time the test was run in 2010. Still, high school graduation rates have increased over that period, and Minister of Education James Allum has said that "86 per cent of our kids are meeting or exceeding expectations."
When it comes to post-secondary studies, the Liberal Party of Manitoba promises to turn provincial student loans into non-repayable grants. They also say they will not limit a student's ability to work while they're attending school. At present if a student receives a wage of more than $100 a week, their loan amounts are scaled back.
The PCs promise to double funding of scholarships and bursaries available to Manitoban post-secondary students.
- Manitoba Liberals pledge to turn student loans into grants
- PCs vow to boost post-secondary scholarship funding
- NDP promise to make university more affordable if re-elected
Last year the current NDP government eliminated the interest portion of all provincial student loans and say that they plan to double the province's scholarship and bursary initiatives. The NDP also committed to providing free tuition to students up to the age of 25 who are in care.
As well, the province offered over $13 million in non-repayable awards to students last year and distributed over $31 million in student loans.