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Making Post-Secondary Education Accessible to Everyone

Making Post-Secondary Education Accessible to Everyone

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Published by: PeggyNash on Feb 01, 2012
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02/17/2012

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Making Post-Secondary Education Accessible to Everyone

Fighter. Builder. Leader.

Fighter. Builder. Leader.
Peggy Nash Campaign for the Leadership of the New Democratic Party

At Issue
Our social, economic, and cultural vibrancy depends on a real commitment to college and university education and training. In Canada, however, chronic under-funding of post-secondary education has resulted in high levels of student debt, program cuts, and larger class sizes. After Liberal governments in the 1990s drastically reduced federal funding to post-secondary education, inaction by the Harper Conservatives has maintained the under-funding at a critical level. In addition to growing inaccessibility for the general population, Aboriginal peoples – the fastest growing demographic in Canada – are being denied their right to funding through the Post-Secondary Student Support Program.

In Context
Research undertaken by scholars and government scientists contributes to the social, cultural, and economic good of all Canadians. That’s a fact. But instead of ensuring a robust funding structure to foster public, basic research, the Harper Conservatives support private research for private gain through tax cuts to corporations for private research for private gain. Over the last few years, university researchers have faced greater pressures to commercialize their research and/or delay publications for the benefit of private corporations. Government scientists have been muzzled and/or have faced layoffs because of political meddling. Meanwhile, our important granting councils have suffered funding cutbacks and increased industry influence. By finally implementing a fair and achievable federal plan for post-secondary education, Canada can focus on high quality teaching, research, and learning. It is time to renew public research for the public good. We deserve no less.

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peggynash.ca

Fighter. Builder. Leader.
Peggy Nash Campaign for the Leadership of the New Democratic Party

The Peggy Nash Plan
Under my leadership, the NDP – and the next government – will: 1. Institute federal support for post-secondary education by: • creating a Post-Secondary Education Act that establishes standards for quality and accessibility in post-secondary education and research while respecting the role of provinces/territories and the principle of asymmetrical federalism; • establishing a dedicated transfer payment guided by the principles enshrined in said Post-Secondary Education Act. 2. Respond to prohibitive tuition fees & the student debt crisis by: • reducing tuition at public post-secondary institutions across the country through guidelines established by aforementioned Post-Secondary Education Act and supported through a dedicated transfer payment to the provinces/territories; • converting a significant portion of loans made by the Canada Student Loans Program into non-repayable, up-front grants through the Canada Student Grants Program; • reducing the interest rates on student loans to prime. 3. Support Aboriginal students by: • removing the funding cap on the Post-Secondary Student Support Program; • extending eligibility for the Post-Secondary Student Support Program to Métis and non-status First Nations. 3

peggynash.ca

Fighter. Builder. Leader.
Peggy Nash Campaign for the Leadership of the New Democratic Party

4. Increase support for public research and scientific integrity by: • increasing base funding equitably to our three granting councils: the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC); • reinstating an Office of the National Science Advisor to ensure governments and politicians receive unbiased and non-partisan advice on scientific policies; • protecting public scientists, researchers, and librarians from reprisals and unfair cutbacks across government departments and agencies, including Natural Resources Canada, Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Status of Women Canada, Library and Archives Canada, Health Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Statistics Canada, and the National Research Council (NRC); • supporting the independence and integrity of research by establishing peer-review grant selection processes that are not influenced by politicians or industry.

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peggynash.ca

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