this blog has moved to a new address:

Please update your RSS, bookmarks, and links to

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

ndp university

Come the end of December/beginning of January (when we have time), we plan to put on our policy analysis hats and dissect some of the federal election promises.One policy area close to our hearts (and résumé), post-secondary education policy, was the highlight of today's NDP campaign.

Jack Layton announced today that his party plans to "restore what he estimates was $4-billion in cuts to post-secondary education made by the Liberals in the 1990s" by "scrapping the corporate tax cuts the Liberals announced in this fall's fiscal update."

This call by Mr. Layton, not surprisingly, jives with the Canadian Federation of Students' "Restore the Four" campaign... imagine that... what a coincidence...

Mr. Layton wasn't clear on where in the system the $4 billion investment would be directed: Federal-Provincial Transfer, student debt relief, scholarships, grants, research, etc?

Though it's not as nice as the $7 to $8 Billion PSE transfer promised by Prime Minister Paul Martin during the 2004 Great Canadian Job Interview in St. John's, it seems a positive commitment to post-secondary education in Canada.

Thoughts? Opinions?


Nastyboy said...

Though it's not as nice as the $7 to $8 Billion PSE transfer promised by Prime Minister Paul Martin during the 2004 Great Canadian Job Interview in St. John's, it seems a positive commitment to post-secondary education in Canada.

First off you need to ask weather or not you can actually beleive anything Martin has promised. Is it new spending? Is it a re-announcement? Is it a re-re-announcement?

I've lost track myself.

btw, I'm glad that you are connected enough to have updates on what's going on in the various Edmonton ridings. I'm so busy I don't have alot of time to see what's happening outside my own riding, but I'll be linking to your updates as much as I can.

Knowlege is power.

Gauntlet said...

Want to really confuse a politician in the realm of post-secondary education policy? See if you can get them to follow this Socratic conversation:

"Wouldn't you agree that education is critical for our economy, and our standard of living?"


"Wouldn't you also agree that education should therefore work in a way that best matches our economy and standard of living?"


"Wouldn't you agree that there have been changes in our economy? For instance, the average person graduating from high school today will have somewhere around 5 different careers in their lifetime."

I've heard that's true, yes.

"Wouldn't you also agree that we are increasingly in an information economy, in which knowledge expires increasingly quickly in technological fields?"


"So doesn't it make sense that engineering, medicine, nursing, information technology, accounting, and similar certifications subsidized heavily by our government ought not be in the manner of 'get it and forget it'?"

That would seem to follow.

"And wouldn't you agree that the majority of employers in our economy use post-secondary education degrees as a deciding factor in determining the suitability of candidates, not because they are the best measure of suitability, but beacuse they are the only widely available one?"

Yes, I guess so.

"And wouldn't you also say that they are the only widely available one, because the government subsidizes them, and because universities are traditional, self-perpetuating bodies."

That seems likely.

"So, would you recommend as a post-secondary education policy that we stop funding technical university degrees that quickly lose their value to society, and take that money and divide it between new continuing education programs and university degrees whose benefits do not expire, such as the liberal arts?"

Mark said...

Don't get me started on this NDP education kick. The guy is hopeless.

Anyone notice that on Day 1 of the campaign Layton said tuition had been lowered and pumped Ed Broadbent's fist in the air, taking full credit. Then on day 2 he went to Toronto with that ammoying candidate from trinity Spadina and claimed the exact opposite?

daveberta said...

Well, number 1, anyone who knows anything about PSE policy should ask the question: "How can the Federal Government reduce tuition when Universities are under the juristiction of the Provinces." I haven't heard an answer yet. So, I half agree with the criticism.

BUT, Jack Layton is the only one talking about PSE so far and Paul Martin's Liberals don't exactly have a stellar record when it comes to investing in Post-Secondary Education.

Layton gets props for bringing it up in the first place.

BTW, what's wrong with Olivia Chow? We kinda hope she wins this time.

Anand said...

Dave (et al),

I didn't know you had to sign up for this shit....oh well...

I wrote (before it got accidently erased) that you should know better than to say that reducing tuition cannot be influenced by the federal gov't. Federal gov'ts could increase funding (or restore funding at least!) to the CST. Of course the gov't would have to have earmarked funding for PSE first. Secondly they could create national standards for PSE similar to the Canada Health Act, and low tuition could be one requirement...



ps: nice blog...although a bit too liberal for me:)