MGEU Locals 149 (Université de Saint-Boniface Instructors), 148 (Université de Saint-Boniface Professors), and 147 (Université de Saint-Boniface Support) along with the Université de Saint-Boniface Student Association are deeply disappointed by the Université de Saint-Boniface’s recent decision to scuttle plans to build an on-campus daycare.

The Centre of Excellence for Children, Families and the Community at the Université de Saint-Boniface was first proposed, and had passed through the initial round of public consultations, back in 2012. Two market studies confirmed the pressing need for such a centre (particularly one offering francophone childcare spaces) and the administration committed to creating a funding proposal in a 2014 letter of agreement signed through negotiations with the USB’s three MGEU Locals.

The student association also committed $700,000 to help kick-start the project and two additional staff members were hired to complete a provincial funding request last year. Due to the proposed completion schedule, the request was denied by the Province, but those involved were encouraged to resubmit a revised request along with a new budget and revised timelines.

Instead of developing a resubmission, USB administration chose to abandon the project, without consulting with the other parties involved or offering other options to keep the project alive.

The Université de Saint-Boniface remains the only publically-funded post-secondary institution in Manitoba which does not offer the services of on-site childcare to staff and students. A new centre would also be of particular benefit to more than 60 students in the USB’s early childhood education program and other related disciplines (such as social work, education, sociology, psychology and nursing science).

The MGEU Locals and the USB Student Association remain convinced that the on-campus daycare is too good of an idea to throw away and remain hopeful that the USB administration will soon reverse its decision.