New Manitoba consultant was behind sweeping education changes in Nova Scotia

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government will be getting advice on education reform from a consultant who recently prompted Nova Scotia to eliminate elected school boards and make other sweeping changes.

Avis Glaze has been hired as the lead consultant for a commission that will review all aspects of the kindergarten to Grade 12 school system, Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen said Friday.

One issue the commission will look at is whether there are too many school divisions across Manitoba. There are six Engligh-language divisions in Winnipeg alone.

Many people think the number of elected school board members — about 290 — is too high, Goertzen said.

“I’m not ruling out any sort of recommendations that (may) come forward, but we’d need to see some evidence that it’s the right number.” Goertzen said.

“I certainly hear more people talk about less than more, particularly in Winnipeg where you have a number of different divisions.”

The review is also to examine ways to improve literacy, graduation rates and test scores in math and science.

It is being lead by Clayton Manness, who cut school funding as education minister in the 1990s, and Janice MacKinnon, a former Saskatchewan finance minister who balanced the provincial budget with a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes in the mid-1990s.

Glaze once served as Ontario’s royal commissioner on education. Last year, she produced a report for the Nova Scotia government that led to the province replacing elected English-language school boards with a 15-member advisory council.

Her report also suggested school principals and vice-principals no longer be part of the teachers union. She recommended that teachers should be part of a new licensing body that could discipline problem teachers.

Manitoba Opposition NDP Leader Wab Kinew said he is worried the government may be focused more on cost-cutting than improving education. The Progressive Conservative government has promised to balance the budget by 2024 and is projecting a deficit of $360 million for the coming fiscal year.

“The concern we have for this whole process is that it’s just laying the groundwork for cuts to education,” Kinew said.

The Manitoba review is expected to be complete by early 2020. Goertzen said Glaze will take a fresh look at Manitoba’s education system.

“I think she’ll do what any good consultant does and look at the lay of the land, how are we different from other jurisdictions, look at the uniqueness of Manitoba. And I wouldn’t expect a report that is a carbon copy of other reports that she’s done.”

Just Posted

Rural communities could face policing bills

Province considering getting smaller and rural communities to pick up a portion of policing costs

Random Acts of Green Canadian tour comes to Red Deer

Red Deerians are being encouraged to lessen their impact on the environment.… Continue reading

Free blood testing for HIV, Hep C, syphilis offered Thursday in Red Deer

Anyone can drop by from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bower Ponds pavilion

Red Deer economy bouncing back but slowly: report

While Red Deer’s economy has been in recovery mode for the past… Continue reading

Red Deer cyclist dead after being hit by vehicle

A Red Deer cyclist was killed when he was struck by a… Continue reading

WATCH: 2019 Canada Winter Games will leave a lasting legacy, say organizers

It leaves Red Deer with the infrastructure and confidence to host future such events

Your community calendar

Wednesday Central Alberta Historical Society annual general meeting is 6 p.m. at… Continue reading

Couche-Tard wants to be a player in the sale of cannabis

LAVAL, Que. — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. wants to be one of the… Continue reading

Michael Dawe: A safe supply of water has long been a priority for Red Deer

The oldest part of the Red Deer water treatment plant on 54th… Continue reading

New parent charged in admissions scam, linked to $400K bribe

BOSTON — A woman accused of paying $400,000 to get her son… Continue reading

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re “stepping away” from ice dancing

Canadian ice dancing stars Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir say they are… Continue reading

Bruce Cockburn avoids impulse to get political with lyric-less new album

TORONTO — If anyone is looking for activist folk singer Bruce Cockburn… Continue reading

13 seasons in, stars reflect on success of ‘Heartland,’ Canada’s ‘comfort food’

HIGH RIVER, Alta. — Alberta-born actor Shaun Johnston had already had a… Continue reading

N.S. senior whose birthday card request drew international response dies

SYDNEY, N.S. — A Nova Scotia widower who received thousands of birthday… Continue reading

Most Read