Volume 93, Issue 61

Wednesday, January 19, 2000


Provincewide intern program renewed

USC to vote on type of campaign

Fraternity falls victim to prank

Another hand reaches to government pockets

Freezing temperatures a danger for homeless

Super computer grows at U of A


Bass Ackwards

Caught on campus

Another hand reaches to government pockets

By Heather Buchan
Gazette Staff

There may be hope for campuses under financial strain, as the results of a recent report demands $2 billion in federal funding be restored to Canadian universities.

The report, composed by a panel of experts from the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada, a federal lobby group, suggests constitutionally feasible ways for the federal government to support post-secondary education, said Garth Williams, director of public affairs for the HSSFC.

He added the panel presented the report to the Government Caucus on Post-Secondary Education and Research last month. The 17 member caucus is composed entirely of Liberal members of parliament from across the nation.

Williams outlined the proposals in the report and explained they illustrate five main categories where the money is needed, including federal transfer payments to the provinces, student assistance, grants for research councils, connecting campuses and using the National Library and National Archives of Canada to support campus libraries.

"We are asking the federal government to restore post-secondary education [funding]. We are asking for money to be set aside immediately in the February budget and for the provinces to enter into an agreement as to how it will be spent," he explained.

"The expert panel emphasized the value of building and supporting greater linkages between the university researchers and teachers in all disciplines and Canadians in all spheres of activity," Williams said.

Louise Forsyth, president of HSSFC, said university research should be stressed because it brings universities closer communities. "This report tells politicians and bureaucrats that an investment in post-secondary education is fundamental to the future of our country," she said.

Karen Redman, a Kitchener-Waterloo Liberal Member of Parliament who sits on the caucus, said they will advise the federal government of the input they receive before the budget announcement this spring. "Members of the caucus are also Members of Parliament who are aware of the intimate needs of universities in their communities," she said, adding lobby groups would have to wait until the budget announcement to see how the funds will be allocated.

"The issue of concern is the core funding of institutions," said Bob Best, director of government relations and public affairs for the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. "The responsibility lies with both the federal and the provincial governments. It is an uphill battle."

Greg Moran, Western's VP-academic, said he agreed with the need for federal funding for post-secondary education. "The government does not provide adequate funding and as a result, Canadian universities are desperately underfunded."

Williams said he had high hopes for February's budget announcement. "The federation hopes the federal government will recognize the seriousness of the plight of university students in the upcoming federal budget."

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