Savoie Introduces the NDP’s Canada Post-Secondary Education Act

Students deserve accessible, quality education: Savoie Introduces the NDP’s Canada Post-Secondary Education Act

OTTAWA – The federal government has a role to play in reducing tuition, enhancing quality, and protecting Canada’s public post-secondary education system, said NDP Post-Secondary Education Advocate Denise Savoie (Victoria) as she unveiled the NDP’s Canada Post-Secondary Education Act.

“Students and their families need affordable tuition for high-quality instruction and resources,” said Savoie. “It’s time to restore our public post-secondary education system and protect it for generations to come.”

Akin to the Canada Health Act, and like the NDP’s Early Learning and Child Care Act, the “PSE Act” would guarantee accountable, stable federal transfers for post-secondary education, and enshrine the principles of accessibility and quality for Canadian students in a public, not-for-profit post-secondary education system.

“For a full decade since the Liberals gutted federal transfers, Canada’s post-secondary community has been forced to choose between accessibility and quality,” said Savoie. “For students, it’s meant unaffordable tuition, overflowing class sizes, deteriorating resources, and increasingly corporate campuses.”

Federal transfers for post-secondary education, as a percentage of GDP, have fallen by two-thirds since the beginning of the Mulroney government, and by one-half since the start of the last Liberal regime in 1993. Correspondingly, average undergraduate tuition has tripled since 1990-91, and students in Nova Scotia pay over three times as much in tuition as students in Quebec.

“The PSE Act is an enabling piece of legislation that will allow provinces to realize affordable, accessible, and high-quality education for Canadian students, regardless of which province or territory they study in,” said Savoie.

The PSE Act would also provide for the Canada Social Transfer to be split, creating a dedicated federal post-secondary education transfer. The action would make post-secondary funding more transparent, and federal and provincial governments more accountable to their students.

Savoie referred to the Canadian Council on Learning’s report on post-secondary education, released in December, which concluded that a national strategy is lacking and needed to coordinate quality post-secondary education for Canada’s economic and social health.