Volume 92, Issue 42

Wednesday, November 18, 1998



CASA conference to draw cabinet bigwigs

By Mark Brown
Gazette Staff

Several members of Western's University Students' Council are in Ottawa for the remainder of the week to attend the second annual Canadian Alliance of Student Associations general meeting.

The goal of this conference is to bring the key student decision makers to talk with the ministers, said Hoops Harrison, national director for CASA.

"We are in a good position for policy," Harrison said. "We are focusing on the politicians right now. This year we have to have cabinet on side before Christmas."

CASA members will meet with four cabinet ministers this week including Minister of Finance Paul Martin, Minster of Intergovernmental Affairs Stephane Dion, Minister of Human Resources Pierre Petttigrew and Minister of Justice Anne McLellan.

Paul Martin will be pressured to give his reasons for cutting transfer payments to the provinces over the last two years in light of the $10 billion surplus currently held by the federal government, Harrison explained.

USC president Ian Armour agreed. "I am going to put pressure on the government to increase transfer payments and to take more control of those transfer payments."

There is some concern the money students receive from the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation will affect how much money those students receive from the province, Armour said. "We have to ensure that this money is decoupled from the Ontario Student Assistance Program."

Robin Stewart, VP-education for the University of Waterloo Federation of Students and regional CASA officer for Ontario, said this conference will give CASA schools a great opportunity to participate in the pre-budgetary discussion. "The real power and success of CASA is its ability to meet with top officials and present rational solutions to them."

Armour said he will also take the opportunity to meet with student representatives of schools who could join Western in its $100 million lawsuit against the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario over the ownership of Travel Cuts.

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Copyright The Gazette 1998