Harper must re-invest in education if Canada is to become more competitive says McDonough

February 24, 2006

Harper must re-invest in education if Canada is to become more competitive says McDonough

HALIFAX – Alexa McDonough today called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to heed the advice of the provinces and education stakeholders at today’s historic Education Summit and commit immediately to re-investing billions cut from post-secondary education (PSE).
Last year, the NDP budget invested an additional $1.5 billion over two years to increase college and university access.

“Today’s message from education stakeholders is clear: more stable, long term funding is needed for post-secondary education and training, if Canada is to become more competitive in today’s global economy," said McDonough. “But money alone won’t solve the problems facing today’s youth who must pay sky high tuition fees and carry crippling student debt loads."

“The federal government heard loud and clear that a pan-Canadian post-secondary education and training strategy is desperately needed, long advocated by the NDP, regrettably ignored by the former Liberal governments," said McDonough.

McDonough outlined the NDP’s comprehensive PSE strategy:

• dedicated PSE transfers to the provinces and territories;
• introduction in this Parliament of a Post Secondary Education Act akin to the Canada Health Act to establish standards, accountability and ensure access in all regions of the country;
• re-investment in a stable, long-term federal needs-based grant system for low-income Canadians in every year of study; and
• overhaul the Canada Student Loans System to create a comprehensive program designed to improve access and reduce the burden of student debt.