There will be a federal election on Monday, September 20th.
Decades of underfunding post-secondary education has led to higher tuition, higher workloads, and less job security, inevitably resulting in increased inequity on campuses. While these issues are not new, they have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even with the increased financial pressures from COVID-19, provincial governments across Canada continue to make cuts to essential operational funding. With no promise that provincial governments such as ours will come to the aide of our institutions, we must ask what the next federal government might do to help Canada’s post-secondary sector to recover from the pandemic.
Whatever the outcome of the election, there is an opportunity over the next few days to remind local candidates of the importance of post-secondary education and the positive impact that universities like the University of Calgary have on our communities and local economies.
Some members may have the opportunity to discuss post-secondary education with local candidates as they knock on doors in the next few days. These are opportunities to ask candidates about their plans, but also for us to highlight the need to support universities like the University of Calgary, the essential role that the federal government has in funding research through tri-council funding, and the leading role that Universities can have in taking on big challenges like COVID-19 and climate change.
The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has launched a dedicated “For our future” election website (ourfuture.caut.ca). The website highlights some of the key issues facing post-secondary education and research and shares some insight into what the federal parties are promising for post-secondary education. Academic Staff members may find these resources helpful as they decide how to vote on September 20th, as well as for discussing the issues with candidates and peers. The website also allows members to send a direct message to candidates running in their respective riding to encourage them to make post-secondary education and research a priority.