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Manitoba education minister wants to repair relationship with teachers, parents

WINNIPEG — Manitoba's education minister says he wants to repair relationships with teachers and parents who were highly critical of a bill the new premier has promised to scrap.
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WINNIPEG — Manitoba's education minister says he wants to repair relationships with teachers and parents who were highly critical of a bill the new premier has promised to scrap.

Cliff Cullen says the bill, which would have eliminated all English-language elected school boards, is in the past and his door is open for any discussions about education in the province.

Kelvin Goertzen, who was chosen interim leader of the governing Progressive Conservatives this week, has said he will kill the bill that was widely opposed.

Lawn signs denouncing it sprang up across the province and critics raised questions about why the government was planning to forge ahead with an overhaul to public education during a pandemic.

Cullen says the bill was a "lightning rod" and distracted from shared priorities to improve education and student outcomes. 

He says the government is planning to form another curriculum framework with input from the public.

"At this time we are pausing some of this work as we focus on COVID-19 (and) return to classes amid the fourth wave," Cullen said Thursday.

"This is a journey. It's not a sprint."

He admitted the province's relationship with education leaders was damaged by the bill.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2021.

The Canadian Press