Pallister Government Failing to Raise Private Funds for Student Bursaries

Fundraising lags while tens of thousands of student aid dollars spent on ad campaign

The NDP have learned that the Pallister government has raised only $1.8 million from private donors for bursaries in the first six months of the year. At the same time, the Government is spending tens of thousands of dollars trying to convince students and families that education isn’t getting more expensive, NDP Education Critic Matt Wiebe revealed today.

This news comes after families are feeling the effects Pallister’s government cutting the tuition rebate program, which provided nearly $60 million to graduates and their families to repay debts and encourage them to stay here in Manitoba.

“The Pallister Government’s plan to support students appears to be failing”, said Wiebe. “After six months, it has raised just over 10% of its overall goal while spending tens of thousands of dollars on an advertising campaign to convince them otherwise.”

The Pallister government has decreased the public contribution to each bursary awarded to a student from one half to one third, relying on private donors to contribute the remainder. However, private donors have so far this year contributed only $1.8 M, far below the government’s $13.3 million target. The NDP also revealed today that the Pallister government spent tens of thousands of dollars on an ad campaign that came directly from the operating line of Manitoba Student Aid.

“Students and parents aren’t fooled. They know that they have lost thousands of dollars under this government, and now we see that the government’s nowhere near meeting their commitment to students and their families. The Pallister government should not be taking money from Manitoba Student Aid to try and spin the public that their cuts don’t hurt.”