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Budget 2017 offers mixed bag for post-secondary education and research

(Ottawa - March 22, 2017) Today’s budget makes welcome commitments in a number of areas of importance to academic staff in our colleges and universities, such as increasing access to post-secondary education for Indigenous scholars, but it fails to build on the government’s initial investments in fundamental science.  

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has called for an investment of an additional $500 million over three years through Canada’s granting councils to restore basic research funding to 2007 levels when adjusted for inflation. This federal budget doesn’t include any new investment in fundamental research.

“We need transformative and sustained investments in fundamental science that lead to real advances in knowledge that contribute to our understanding of the world and a better quality of life, but this budget falls short on that promise,” says CAUT executive director David Robinson.

CAUT welcomed the new investments in support for Indigenous students and scholarship, and initiatives to help women to succeed in post-secondary education, including child care. Budget 2017 commits $90 million over two years to the Post-Secondary Support Program and $7 billion over 10 years to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care spaces across the country. 

“We applaud the government for delivering on its promises to invest in the post-secondary education funding for Indigenous students and other measures. It is long overdue that the federal government begin honouring its Treaty obligations,” says Robinson.

CAUT represents over 70,000 academic staff working in more than 120 universities and colleges across Canada.

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For more information, please contact:

Lisa Keller, Communication Officer, 613-820-2270 ext. 186 or keller@caut.ca

For a full report on the Budget, click here