Thursday, September 16, 2010

Goodale Urges Education As Key To Canadian Success

Ralph Goodale's latest Weekly Update:


One of the most expensive things most Canadian families have to deal with is the high cost of post-secondary education.

But higher learning – beyond high school – is no frill. It’s an imperative in today’s knowledge-based, technology-driven and skills-intensive world.

Competition is fierce. Opportunities for young people with only a high school diploma are shrinking, while prospects are steadily expanding for those with further education through universities, colleges, technical schools or apprenticeships.

But it’s costly. For too many, it’s unaffordable?

Canadian families are among the most indebted in the western world. For every dollar of disposable income in the average Canadian household, there is nearly $1.50 in debt. And interest rates are now on the rise again. Debt servicing costs will soon crowd out other priorities.

In the aftermath of recession, one of the most useful things a government could do to help hard-pressed families would be to relieve some of the costs of accessing post-secondary education for their kids.

Such investments to tear down financial barriers to greater knowledge and better skills would also help make our country more productive and competitive on a global scale.

Before the recession struck, Canada’s biggest economic deficiency was slow productivity growth. Many countries were seriously outstripping us in fostering high quality, homegrown brain-power, and in applying science and innovation to bolster economic growth, disposable incomes and living standards.

The productivity/competitiveness challenge is now even more urgent for Canada.

But Stephen Harper says the only thing we have to do to recover from recession is fight the deficit, which he started to create BEFORE there was any recession. Slash the Government of Canada, he says, and all will be well.

But deficit-cutting alone is NOT the answer. Canada also needs to invest – most especially in education.

Good for families! And good for productivity!

post signatureVICTORY FUND

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's my idea on education:

I know it's a provincial jurisdiction but from a funding level, jointly, I propose the following.

Any Canadian student who wants to go to university (as far as the Phd level) or anyone who wants to pursue a trade to earn a living would have their entire tuition picked up by the government.

Once they enter the work force, they would pay an incremental tax percentage during their entire working life. That tax would both pay for their own education as well as fund the program for future generations.

It's basically a perpetuity that is paid to the government for the education you've received.

It would require a large upfront investment but if we are to be serious about the need for a better educated nation, we have to start offering ideas.