The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) says this summer’s federal announcement of $19 billion for provinces and territories for a “safe economic restart” is a welcome beginning. The priority areas identified in the agreement, such as paid sick leave, child care and long-term care, are insufficiently funded, and it leaves other vital public services out all together.
“The new agreement is a promising start but it leaves out the post-secondary education sector,” says CAUT Executive Director David Robinson. “Universities and colleges are key partners through research and education in solving the current health and economic crisis, but are facing tremendous financial pressures as a result of the pandemic.”
“Our universities and colleges have been working hard to protect the health and safety, livelihoods and educations of millions of Canadians, but without assistance they will be forced to make more difficult choices. Already we have seen institutions forced to cut programs or raise tuition fees, just when Canadians can least afford it. Without greater federal investment in post-secondary education, we will see fewer educational opportunities and less research, compromising Canada’s recovery.”
In April, CAUT called for emergency operating funding to continue to deliver the high-quality, affordable and accessible education that underpins Canada’s prosperity.