Provincial election and budget

by Faculty Association | Filed under April 2015, President's Message.

– By Sandra Hoenle, Faculty Association President –

As I’m sure everyone is aware, the long-awaited provincial budget has been announced, followed by the call for an election. During the period leading up to the budget, the University’s Executive Leadership Team was active in developing a strong case for our funding needs. On multiple occasions, the President and Provost championed the University of Calgary specifically, as well as joined their counterparts in demonstrating the needs of the post-secondary sector in general.

While this budget is not as bad for the post-secondary sector as was expected, it still contains a 1.4% cut to provincial grants for the coming year, to be followed by a 2.7% cut the following year. However, with the election call falling closely on the heels of the budget announcement, I am very concerned about what that could mean for post-secondary institutions, as it could be much worse than what we are facing in the recently-announced budget.

During the campaign period, I encourage all of our members to raise any concerns you have about post-secondary funding with candidates seeking election. Our provincial association CAFA (Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations), has designed a survey on post-secondary education issues which may be helpful to compare the parties’ platforms with regard to post-secondary education. All of the political parties running in the provincial election have been invited to respond. You will find the questionnaire posted on the CAFA website (http://www.ualberta.ca/CAFA/) and responses will be posted there as they receive them. You may wish to use the questionnaire as the basis for your own questions at all-candidates forums or in discussion with candidates on the doorstep.

You might also find this online tool both interesting and useful for finding out how your own views compare to those of Alberta’s political parties: Vote Compass http://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/votecompass/alberta2015.html.

For further information about candidates, where to vote, eligibility requirements, etc. please visit: Elections Alberta http://wtv.elections.ab.ca/.

Whatever your concerns or political leanings, I strongly encourage you to get informed about the issues and cast your ballot on May 5.


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