March 11, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 84  

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Letter to the prime minister

Dear Prime Minister Paul Martin,

Since you’re coming to campus, we thought we’d taking this opportunity to write an open letter outlining some of our concerns regarding post-secondary education.

As students and citizens of Canada, we demand post-secondary education become a top priority for this government and the Liberal Party. For far too long, band-aid solutions have been applied to the gaping wounds of post-secondary education, which have been caused by inadequate funding, more emphasis on research as opposed to teaching and problems with Canada Student Loans.

Without a doubt, adequate funding is not provided to universities. Money is dumped into research and buildings, but little is allocated for maintenance, operating budgets and keeping class sizes and tuition down.

At a lobby conference for the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, you made a commitment to envelope funding (money specifically earmarked for post-secondary education), but that promise has yet to be fulfilled.

Secondly, what good is post-secondary education if students cannot afford it? The loan system for students has been chronically problematic because the implementation methods have not been altered or reassessed in years. Although post-secondary education seems to be a rhetorical buzzword for many politicians, there is seldom any direct action taken in this area.

The need for post-secondary education has become increasingly important in society. Canadians across the board recognize the importance of post-secondary education; it is as important an issue as health care.

It is imperative that priorities are determined. It may be safer to be ambiguous, but sitting on the fence on important issues does little to encourage voters.

At the moment, it seems your only priority is distancing yourself from the sponsorship scandal and any involvement you may have had with it. Stop trying to sweep it under the carpet. If everything was out in the open, we could move on. The sooner this issue is dealt with, the sooner we can address the lack of attention that has been given to post-secondary education.

As the elected leader of the Liberal Party and the un-elected leader of this great country, it is also your duty to call an election. You did not come into your position by winning a general election; therefore, you should not stall on this issue just to bide your time. The election should be called as soon as possible.

Mr. Martin, you have done little to give students a reason to vote for you. We’re looking forward to seeing if you acknowledge us.

The Gazette



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