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Federal Throne Speech misses opportunity to fix post-secondary education and support research

(Ottawa – September 24, 2020) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) welcomes the renewed commitments in the Speech from the Throne to strengthen social programs, such as child care and Employment Insurance, take more action to address climate change, and create good jobs, but is troubled that no commitments were made to research or post-secondary education.

“The Speech acknowledged how vital research and science are for our future, but the government missed an opportunity to strengthen universities and colleges, which are the foundation of our knowledge infrastructure,” said CAUT Executive Director David Robinson.

He added that although CAUT welcomes the decision to extend the wage subsidy, universities and colleges are still left out of the program. “Some institutions have already laid off staff, cut educational and research programs, and raised the cost of tuition.”

CAUT is calling on the government to commit to a national plan for post-secondary education, which strengthens science and research, and improves accessibility, affordability, and quality of post-secondary education.

“The Throne Speech made some ambitious promises to address some of the inequities and challenges made worse by the pandemic, but there are gaps in the plan. We hope to see more than words and look forward to a commitment in the budget to work with universities and colleges as critical partners in the recovery and in a more prosperous, just and green Canada,” noted Robinson.