Manitoba's Education Minister is hoping to repair relationships that were strained over a controversial bill.

Bill 64 has been scrapped as announced by Premier Kelvin Goertzen on Wednesday during his first meeting with the press as premier. This was a highly criticized bill set to amalgamate all of Manitoba's school divisions. Minister Cliff Cullen says the governance aspect of Bill 64 overshadowed the education goal.

"At this time, we are pausing some of this work," Cullen says in a Thursday afternoon press conference. "We have heard from Manitoban that change in education is needed."

He says the government model of Bill 64 was a "lightning rod." Between four and five hundred people have registered to speak against Bill 64 in the fall.

The Education Minster stood by Bill 64 strongly, leading many to experience extreme stress over job stability. Seine River School Division's superintendent Michael Borgfjord was one of those experiencing uncertainly, stepping away from his position as a direct result of Bill 64. 

Cullen says moves such as those were the choice of the individual, as Bill 64 was not yet set but understands the anxiety it has caused.

"I am certainly prepared as a minister, my door is open. We do want to repair any bridged that we have maybe damaged in that journey and look forward to those discussions."

Cullen says the focus of education is shifting towards COVID-19. The Minister says a cautious approach will be made, with more announcements coming in the future. The education minister says he can not say what a new premier will call for in the future regarding education governance.

The proposed phasing out of education property tax for property owners will continue.