Union Says Funding Cuts Contradict Premier's Pledge to Make BC the Most
Literate, Best Educated Jurisdiction in Canada
VANCOUVER, March 20 /CNW/ - "It seems our Premier has lost interest in
what used to be one of his key priorities," said Cindy Oliver, President of
the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators (FPSE). Oliver was commenting on an
announcement by the provincial government that post-secondary institutions
would see cuts in their provincial operating grants. "When Premier Campbell
started his second term one of his five great goals was to make BC the most
literate, best educated jurisdiction in Canada," said Oliver. "Now we are
finding out just how hollow his commitment really is. Post-secondary
institutions are going to lose funding and these losses come on top of the
chronic under-funding that has been a hallmark of Campbell's approach to
post-secondary education since he took office in 2001," Oliver added.
"When the Finance Minister tabled her budget last month, we were
concerned about what was missing for post-secondary education. The latest news
from Victoria is that funding for post-secondary education is going to be much
worse than was projected on February 19th by Carole Taylor," said Oliver. "The
Finance Minister may have succeeded in distracting public scrutiny by talking
about how green her budget was, but I think these funding cuts will make
people realize this government doesn't have a coherent plan for post-secondary
education and isn't prepared to make the investments in this critical public
service," Oliver noted.
"Government MLAs have a lot of explaining to do on this announcement.
After all, these are the same government MLAs who had no trouble finding an
extra $400 million to pay for cost overruns at the Trade and Convention
Centre, but can't find even $40 million to ensure that our post-secondary
institutions are not running in the red this year or next," Oliver concluded.
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