STF requests funds from gov’t to protect staff, students after failed hub city bid

Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation President Patrick Maze is disappointed at the Saskatchewan government’s decision to commit $3-million when trying to secure Regina as a CFL hub city.

Maze feels it shows a lack of prioritizing by the Government of Saskatchewan as staff and students go into the start of the school year without any secured funding to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic in schools.

Maze said there seems to be a double standard.

“Education and the safety of our staff and students in our schools should be a priority of our government, well ahead of any money that goes to football,” stated Maze during a phone call interview.

“In the general public, people are told to wear masks and be socially distant from each other. Yet in our schools, we have none of those provisions and we want government to commit some funding so students and staff are safe when they return to schools in September.”

The teachers union has been asking for the government to release a specific amount of money to enhance safety for staff and students.

Maze said they have since requested a meeting with the education minister to express their concerns.

“We know there is money out there. These are budget choices that government is making, but they are choosing to push it off on to school divisions as opposed to making decisions like re-turfing Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon at a cost of several million dollars or putting a bid in for a hub city,” explained Maze.

“It’s going to require an investment. Right now, it doesn’t seem like schools and students are a priority for government.”

The government has mentioned in the past that school divisions saw savings this year due to schools being closed because of the pandemic. There is also the option of a contingency fund of $200 million announced to support the province.

Winnipeg was chosen as the tentative host city if there is a season in 2020 pending approval from public health. The Government of Manitoba offered $2.5 million in their bid.

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