Budget battle between division and education minister gets personal

It appears the ongoing budget battle between Manitoba’s education minister and Winnipeg’s largest school division is getting personal.

Winnipeg School Division board chair Chris Broughton tweeted earlier this week that minister Kelvin Goertzen seems to have an issue with women in leadership roles in education.

“Minister of Education not only refuses to meet with the board, now he sends his letters to Division staff and not the Board or Chief Superintendent. First time Ever. @kelvin_goertzen is it us or our female CEO?” wrote Broughton.

Another tweet by Broughton said Goertzen appears to be obsessed with a female superintendent being paid on par with her male counterparts in other large divisions.

Pauline Clarke is the division’s superintendent.

Goertzen fired back on Twitter.

“Such a disgraceful comment,” wrote Goertzen

Others came to Goertzen’s defense online, including Tory MLA Sarah Guillemard.

“Interesting that the chair of the WSD would use gender as a weapon as a means to distract from his lack of leadership. You set the bar very low for dialogue…thankfully @kelvin_goertzen is well equipped to deal with children,” tweeted Guillemard

This week the school division bowed to a directive from Goertzen to keep a property tax hike at two percent or face a funding cut. Goertzen has been critical of the division’s administrative salaries.