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Proposed cuts threaten to devastate Manitoba’s universities

(Ottawa – April 21, 2020) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is calling on the Manitoba government to reverse its demand that universities cut deeply into their budgets by as much as 30 per cent.

“Cuts of that size will permanently damage Manitoba’s universities, and undermine their capacity to teach students who have already been hit hard by the effects of the pandemic,” warns CAUT Executive Director David Robinson.

Premier Brian Pallister's Progressive Conservative government has given universities only a few days to model budget cuts of 10, 20 and 30 per cent over the next four months, either by cutting their workforces or by reducing other expenditures.

“The Manitoba government is an outlier amongst the provinces. Other governments recognize that public investment is critically needed at this time to keep the economy from falling into a tailspin, and to ensure that public services like post-secondary education are able to play their part in the battle against COVID-19,” Robinson says.

CAUT urges the Manitoba government to stop the cuts and to recognize that universities are the key drivers that will contribute to the province’s future recovery.

“Cutting now is a false economy that will irreparably harm universities, students and all Manitobans,” Robinson says.