news release

January 23, 2019
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Nine Commissioners to Guide a Comprehensive,
Independent Review of Manitoba’s Education System: Goertzen
The Manitoba government has established a new commission to undertake a comprehensive, independent review of the kindergarten to Grade 12 education system, Education and Training Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.

“This is a long-overdue opportunity to build on strengths and identify challenges to create a better education system with high standards for educators, high expectations for student achievement, relevant curriculum, governance excellence and a sustainable fiscal framework,” said Goertzen. “Manitoba’s education system covers a vast geographical area and serves a wide range of communities, and we have selected a commission that reflects that reality.”

The minister noted the process will include extensive consultation across Manitoba and consider a wide range of topics such as student learning, teaching, accountability for student learning, governance and funding.

Manitoba’s Commission on Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education includes Ian Wishart, legislative assistant to the minister of education and training, who will lead public consultation and stakeholder engagement. The eight other commissioners are:
• Dr. Janice MacKinnon (co-chair);
• Clayton Manness (co-chair);
• Terry Brown;
• Mark Frison;
• John Daniel (JD) Lees;
• Jill Quilty;
• Laurel Repski; and
• Denis Robert.

“The commission will serve in the best educational interest of all students, regardless of their abilities, personal or family circumstances, or where they live,” said MacKinnon.

The commission will soon commence public consultation and seek input from students, parents, educators, school boards, academics, Indigenous organizations, la francophonie, municipal councils, professional organizations, the business community and all Manitobans.

“Our focus will be on student outcomes, long-term sustainability and enhanced public confidence, and we will consider the continuum of early learning, post-secondary education and labour market needs,” added Manness.

The minister expects the commission to submit a report with key findings and recommendations by February 2020.

Information about the kindergarten to Grade 12 review will be posted throughout the year at

Goertzen also announced the publication of information meant to help inform the commission and public. As previously committed, the province has released a preliminary report on consultations with Manitobans on literacy and numeracy held in January 2018. The report will help provide context to the commission and public and is available online at

The minister also announced the release of high school graduation rates, continuing a commitment to restore the practice of sharing school-division level educational results. The department has posted school division level rates from June 2013 to June 2017 using an improved student-tracked method, with plans to post 2018 rates later this year.

The information is available at

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For more information:
• Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.
• Media requests for general information, contact Communications Services Manitoba: 204-945-3765.

news release

January 15, 2019


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Agreement Secures Five-Year Funding
For the Strongest Families Institute:  Friesen

The Manitoba government and Bell Let’s Talk have partnered to contribute $1 million to the Strongest Families Institute (SFI) to expand mental health services for children, youth and their families throughout Manitoba, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.

“When families need help, they need it right away,” said Friesen.  “The Strongest Families Institute has a proven track record of providing mental health care to children and youth that is effective, family-centred, timely and accessible to those living in rural and remote areas.  We thank Bell Let’s Talk for raising awareness of mental health issues and for its support of this new program in Manitoba.”

The Manitoba government and Bell Let’s Talk are jointly contributing $1 million over five years to SFI, an award-winning organization that provides evidence-based programs for children, youth and families dealing with mild to moderate mental illness and other health issues.  SFI uses a unique distance coaching approach to support families in the privacy of their own homes at flexible hours.  SFI is the only program of its kind in the country, offering a no-wait-list policy and services to families with children and youth aged three to 17 affected by significant challenges.

“Bell Let’s Talk is pleased to partner with the Manitoba government and the Strongest Families Institute to help expand mental health services across the province,” said Mary Deacon, chair of Bell Let’s Talk.  “The Strongest Families Institute is a real leader in finding new ways to offer young people and their families access to the mental health care and services they need.”

SFI currently operates in seven other provinces.  Services will be available in both English and French when SFI formally launches its programs in Manitoba in the coming weeks.  Approximately 1,000 families are expected to benefit from the service over the next five years, the minister noted.

“Strongest Families was designed to remove barriers to care so families receive help when and where they need it,” said Dr. Patricia Lingley-Pottie, president and CEO, Strongest Families Institute.  “Our skill-based approach has shown to be highly effective in reducing mental health issues early in life.  We thank the Manitoba government and Bell Let’s Talk for this generous gift so our SFI team can help children, youth and families in Manitoba lead happier healthier lives.”

Bell Let’s Talk promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns, like Bell Let’s Talk Day on Jan. 30, and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives.  On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell donates five cents to Canadian mental health programs for each eligible text, phone call and social media interaction on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, at no cost to participants.  To learn more about how to get involved in Bell Let’s Talk Day, visit

To learn more about the Strongest Families Institute, visit

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For more information: Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.

Media requests for general information, contact Communications Services Manitoba: 204-945-3765.

Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Communications and Stakeholder Relations: 204-945-4916.