Manitoba's education reform Bill 64 is scrapped; what happens now?

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Manitoba's education minister says he recognizes the controversial Bill 64 was a 'lightening rod' and now that it's dead, there is time for the province to pause and reflect.

On Thursday, Minister Cliff Cullen answered questions about the fate of the bill looking to reform education in Manitoba, a day after Manitoba's new premier announced Bill 64 along with four other pieces of legislation would not move forward in the fall.

He said the governance model of Bill 64 distracted from the priorities to improve education and student outcomes.

"Let me be clear, the governance model was certainly a lightening rod – we recognize that. So we are scrapping Bill 64," Cullen said.

Cullen previously called those against Bill 64 a 'vocal minority.' He said Thursday at the time he made those comments, he believed they were accurate.

"I would say the anti-Bill 64 campaign grew over the course of the last month or two. Certainly, we recognize that as government," he said.

He said following engagement with teachers, stakeholders and the public, it was clear people were not satisfied with the bill.

"I think this is an opportunity for us just to pause and reflect on what we've heard," Cullen said. "I know the discussion and the governance model has created some tensions with our stakeholders. I think this is a real opportunity for us to build those relationships and gather their input."

Cullen said for now, Manitoba Education is focused on the safe return of staff and students to the classroom, though the province will continue with its engagement on education reform.