Longtime Manitoba superintendent leaving job due to Bill 64, division says

A longtime Manitoba school superintendent is leaving his job due to “the potential damaging effects” of Bill 64.

Michael Borgfjord, who has represented the Seine River School Division since 2008, will be stepping down next week, the division said Friday, to pursue opportunities outside of education.

Bill 64, also known as the Education Modernization Act, is a controversial piece of legislation introduced by the government of Manitoba premier Brian Pallister, who will himself be stepping down from his role as his party’s leadership race heats up.

Read more: Manitoba launches website to fight ‘misinformation’ around plans to rework school system

The bill calls for the abolition of the current school division system — eliminating all but one of Manitoba’s elected school boards, merging school divisions and setting up a province-wide education authority.

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The school division described Borgfjord as a dedicated, powerful advocate for students, staff, and the community, who believed in the division’s core values of honesty, respect and empathy over his 13-year career.

“It is a sad day as both Seine River School Division and education in Manitoba have lost a truly loyal,
dedicated and amazing visionary leader,” Seine River said in a statement.

Seine River Teachers’ Association president Jonathan Waite said on social media that Borgfjord’s decision was a surprise, but understandable given the circumstances.

“While this news is both surprising and sad, I fully appreciate Mr. Borgfjord‘s rationale for taking on a new opportunity in the midst of so much uncertainty in this province when it comes to public education,” he said.

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The division said Simon Laplante and Elaine Lochhead will be made co-superintendents until 2022.

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg council to look at opposing Province’s Bill 64' Winnipeg council to look at opposing Province’s Bill 64

Winnipeg council to look at opposing Province’s Bill 64 – Jul 21, 2021

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