QUEBEC CITY, June 9, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - In her first presentation
following the May 2, 2011 Canadian Federal election, journalist and
commentator Chantal Hébert cautioned attendees at the 2011 Annual
Conference of the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education
(CCAE) in Quebec City, on Monday, June 6, that the new majority
Conservative government has priorities other than education on its
The commitment to fund health care at its current level - which means an
increase of 6% in health-care dollars per year - provides "an ideal
shield for cuts everywhere else," said Ms Hébert. "We are negotiating
around an elephant if we take health care spending off the table," she
cautioned. "And it won't be a pink elephant, it will be red."
According to Ms Hébert, "education is not far from the top of the list
of potential casualties." Because the Federal government "sees
education mostly as a provincial affair," decisions on education
funding will fall largely to the provinces. And "the provincial level
is very much in flux." After years of relatively stability in British
Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, all these governments are now in
"Flux and uncertainty is not a great platform for decision making,"
observed Ms Hébert. "Who can you talk to [about education]? There is no
one to talk to." This, she said, will complicate the search for
adequate funding and stability for Canadian universities and colleges
in the years ahead.
She urged education advancement professionals - those who work in alumni
relations, fundraising, government relations, communications, marketing
and student recruitment in universities, colleges, independent schools
and cégeps - to seek out and cultivate those who might be "friends of
education", and willing to speak for it, among provincial and Federal
governments and the official Opposition.
"It's going to be a bit of a walk in the dark to find who will speak for
education, and how to speak to them," Ms Hébert said. "This Federal
government has an allergy to intellectualism. They see it as elitism."
The Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education represents some
140 educational institutions all across Canada, with 1,400 individual
members. Three hundred CCAE members, partners, sponsors and exhibitors
gathered in Quebec City for the 2011 CCAE Annual Conference, June 4 -
SOURCE INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
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