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Manitoba NDP government not committing to build all schools promised by Tories

The future of seven schools promised by the former Progressive Conservative government in Manitoba is uncertain.

The Tories promised last year to build a total of nine schools by 2027, under a so-called P3 system in partnership with the private sector.

The NDP government, in its budget this week, has set aside money for two schools — one in northwest Winnipeg and one in the city’s southeast — to be built by the government alone.

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Finance Minister Adrien Sala says the remaining seven schools are not cancelled, but the province is not committing to them at this time.

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He accuses the former Tory government of promising the schools without having the funding for them.

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He says the NDP government recognizes the need for more schools but will proceed responsibly.

In Opposition, the NDP criticized the P3 model, saying it would cost taxpayers more money in the long run.

The Tory plan would have had a private contractor design, construct and maintain the buildings. In exchange, the province would have signed a 30-year agreement including payments for ongoing maintenance.

The Tories had said the plan would allow the schools to be built quickly and would save money.

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&© 2024 The Canadian Press

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