Ralph Goodale's latest Weekly Update:
CANADA MUST INVEST MORE IN EDUCATION!
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!