Volume 92, Issue 15

Tuesday, September 29, 1998



Chretien talks education

Dipesh Mistry/Gazette

By Mark Brown
Gazette Staff

"We have to invest in education," Prime Minister Jean Chretien told a full house last night at the London Convention Centre.

"We have made sure that the students who graduate will be able to pay back their debt," he said. This is why the Liberal government invested $2.5 billion into the Canadian Millennium Scholarship Fund, he explained to the crowd of supporters at last night's Liberal fundraiser.

While discussing the need to invest in education, the prime minister added that over the next three years there will be a tax cut.

"It looks like we will be able to make more tax cuts in the next budget," he said. Although he did not mention where those tax cuts would be made he did specify they would benefit those mentioned in the last federal budget.

Aside from focusing more attention and resources on students, the next big expense will be in the health care system, Chretien said. "We want to make sure it is functioning well."

The government will start to look into a proposal by Health Minister Allan Rock based on the Maclean's magazine survey of universities.

The government wants to have an independent group examining the health care system in an effort to improve its performance, Chretien said. "It shook the universities up to improve their performance."

Chretien added the government cannot afford another deficit. "We will invest in the things that are a priority."

Western president Paul Davenport was on hand last night to thank the prime minister for the progress which has been made. "While there is more work to be done, we are clearly on the right track," Davenport said.

He added the Millennium Fund will be beneficial to the university since it will provide new research opportunities and facilitate the transfer of research and technology to the private sector.

Chretien also spoke to the crowd about the success the party has had in the elimination of the deficit, the reduction of unemployment and about his positive experience with South African President Nelson Mandela during his recent visit to Canada.

The Young Liberals Club was present at last night's fundraiser to present the prime minister with a painting. "We wanted to thank him for all the efforts towards the students," said Nawaz Tahir, an executive member of the club.

"[Chretien] painted a really strong image of where we've been and how far we've come."

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Copyright The Gazette 1998