WINNIPEG (Treaty 1 Territory) – Students have been hit hard by COVID-19 and today there was little indication that the Province will help alleviate what was already an unmanageable student debt crisis prior to the pandemic.
The CFS-MB is hopeful that this new session will be an opportunity for the government to refocus its priorities towards a future that includes students’ perspectives to help set the direction for the future of Manitoba. Students want the government to take measures to improve their educational experiences in the province, not attempt to interfere with their operations.
Regarding funding for post-secondary institutions being tied to labour-market needs from the throne speech, Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students, Brenden Gali commented: “In the throne speech today we heard that this government not only wants to control how our post-secondary institutions are funded but also threatens student choices in what they study. This is unacceptable and this government is telling students and faculty that they don’t respect their environments of learning”
The throne speech focused on strengthening the healthcare system in response to the pandemic, yet thousands of international students currently living in Manitoba can’t safely access medical care to ensure the collective safety of our communities. The Canadian Federation of Students continues to urge for the immediate reinstatement of international students’ access to public healthcare. Healthcare is a human right and it is appalling that this government continues to force international students to pay out-of-pocket for private healthcare throughout a global pandemic. We must ensure access to this critical service for international students who contribute over $400 million dollars to the Manitoba economy every year, work over 4250 jobs and are already gouged with tuition fees over triple what domestic students pay.