Friday, February 24, 2006

Dollars for post-secondary education

It's nice to see the Premiers talking about the need for more funding for post secondary education (Premiers push PM for money to boost higher education) and hear that they will be driving this point home during their "entertaining" evening with Stephen Harper.

I just hope, however, that the Premiers are truly serious about boosting post secondary funding and aren't just using this issue as the latest window dressing for their annual extort more money from the feds fundraising drive.

Post secondary education is one of my pet issues so I'm glad to see it being addressed seriously. During the campaign I posted my evaluation of the parties' education platforms, and I talked about how cuts to federal/provincial transfers in the mid-1990s, along with ballooning health care budgets, forced provinces to slash post secondary funding to meet rising health care needs (and offer irresponsible tax cuts, hey Mike Harris!).

That's my concern here. If the feds transfer $X more for post secondary, will the provinces divert $X of their own contribution to post-secondary elsewhere, say to health care? If so, then this exercise would be proven to be just another provincial cash grab with post secondary only used as window dressing. I hope that's not the case.

In the education section of their policy platform, the Conservatives promised the following:

*In cooperation with the provinces, remove postsecondary education funding from the Canada Social Transfer and create an independent Canada Education and Training Transfer to ensure that there is dedicated funding for postsecondary education and training.

The Conservatives need to follow through on that promise. Increase post secondary funding, but do it through a dedicated post secondary education transfer and attach strings or extract promises from the provinces that their own funding levels for education will be maintained, so this truly does mean more funding for Canada's universities.

And then the provinces need to get off their duffs and do something about tuition fees.

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Jeff,

Check out what publiceyeonline had to say about Christy's Brison dinner... I think her and Mark are just grabbing at anything. They are already going down the shitter!

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A BCer in Toronto said...

I understand Mark wasn't there, probably a good idea on his part.