Volume 93, Issue 9

Tuesday, September 14, 1999


LTC faces impending lawsuit

UWOSA snags contract and raise

CASA lobby on deck

Students await new Ministry's words

Shuffle means new programming

Police Blotter

News Briefs

Western academics back Chretien's call

DriveSafe sobers street


Caught on Campus

Students await new Ministry's words

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

After a new provincial Ministry was established over the summer months for post-secondary education, many students may be wondering what, if anything has been accomplished and what can be expected in the upcoming year.

Kerry Delaney, spokesperson for the new Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities said so far the Ministry, headed by Member of Provincial Parliament for London North Dianne Cunningham, has been busy getting settled.

The Ministry is also continuing to work on several projects initiated by the former Ministry of Education, she added. "One of the big projects on our plate is the Super-Built Growth Fund," said Delaney of the $742 million the provincial government has set aside for spending.

Delaney said Cunningham is still getting accustomed to her position, but students will see benefits from the Ministry in the near future. "There's more ability to take a good look at things," she said.

Joel Harden, Ontario chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students, said the CFS is still waiting to see what initiatives the Ministry will take.

"From what I've seen there have been various meetings," Harden said of the Ministry's summer agenda this past. "We want to know what's on the table."

"Students will see a quadrupling of tuition fees," Harden said. "But where that debate goes, depends on students."

Overall, however, Harden said he was happy about the separate sector of the Ministry, yet he is still lobbying it. "We're just trying to set the stage right now," he said. Harden added the CFS is scheduled to meet with Cunningham later this month.

"There are pluses and minuses," said Henry Mandebaum, executive director of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations. "It removes us from the [old] Ministry. The minuses are really in the current environment," Mandebaum added.

Although OCUFA has not yet had the opportunity to work with the new Ministry, Mandebaum said he would feel comfortable working with it in the future. "We look forward to working with the Minister," he said.

Mark Kissel, Western's VP-education for the University Students' Council, said while the Ministry was an exciting way to begin the academic year, some items on the agenda have yet to be accomplished. "Nothing's really come to light as of yet," he said.

Kissel added the USC has been unsuccessful in communicating with Cunningham. "We're hoping to meet with her and all of our MPs," he said. "I understand she's really busy but she should be here for the students."

David Scott, spokesperson for the Council of Ontario Universities, said it is still too early to tell, but the COU is hopeful Cunningham will bring a wealth of experience and vigour to colleges and universities throughout the province. "She's always been interested in this," he said. "We'll see how things work out."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999