October 13, 2006

An Education Policy of Respect…Michael Ignatieff Better Tread Carefully

Although my tenure as VP Policy is coming to an end soon, the one issue which I worked on most was education. As education has its own section in the constitution, this is pretty clear provincial jurisdiction.

As a youth wing in Quebec, we have been pretty clear with what we want. We want the federal government to create a dedicated education transfer, as it was before 1995. We want funding to the provinces restored. That is a fiscal imbalance issue. The costs of provincial services are rising and the federal government has the money.

In the 50s and 60s it was called co-operative federalism. From that we got a Pension Plan and Medicare…not bad. If the provinces stuck to their hard lines then, we would have neither. Back then there was a federalism of respect.

The term “education standards” sends a shiver down my spine. How will any federal government pass this without another interprovincial war? How do we prevent Canadian flags from getting taken down? Here candidates must tread very carefully. I wasn’t all that pleased when I heard that Michael Ignatieff was proposing a plan on education, but I took a look and suggest you take one too.

Michael proposes something similar to the Canada Health Act in making three core principles in what is called the Access Agenda. I will call them the three pillars of education: Equality, Affordability, and Mobility.

Equality meaning everyone will get the same quality of education whether they are in a city or region. Equality of opportunity should apply to the quality of the university education itself.

Affordability ensuring no student is left behind. IF YOU HAVE THE GRADES, YOU GET TO GO. That is the best possible way to ensure true equality of opportunity in Canada. To that extent, the federal government will provide an option to everyone based on their level of income. All Canadians will have access to a certain extent. Since this is not directly spending money on the education itself, it is indeed constitutional.
(barely)

Mobility means that all Canadians should be able to move freely within the provinces and get educated. We must remove inter-provincial barriers to education make credits transferable. If the federal government can do it for workers, it can also do it for students.

BECAUSE the education transfer was promised, I have no reason to see why provinces would be against such a plan other than sheer stubbornness. Once the imbalance has been addressed, the provinces can no longer blame the federal government for the problems of students.

I can proudly take this plan to my constituents in the Youth Wing in Quebec and to the student lobbies and say this plan is achievable, attainable, and constitutional. The ball is now in the court of the provinces. We need co-operative federalism to make a comeback!

10 Commentaires:

Blogger Concerned YL a dit...

Can you please tell your candidate of choice to stop talking? The more he yammers about the mid-East, the more he digs himelf deeper and the more ridings with large Jewish populations we lose.

10/13/2006 4:14 PM  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

haha

you guys know my position on the Israel issue. Do I really need to say it again?

10/13/2006 4:22 PM  
Blogger Skip a dit...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/13/2006 4:38 PM  
Blogger anybody but iggy a dit...

Is MI paying his own way to Israel?

10/13/2006 9:52 PM  
Blogger anna yanuk a dit...

yawn

10/14/2006 1:24 PM  
Blogger Alex Plante a dit...

Jason,

There's nothing wrong in calling a spade, a spade.

Michael didn't make up those accusations. Those accusations were first made by Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights also former Supreme Court Justice and chief prosecutor of war crimes before the ICT, Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the U.N., Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

Obviously, there were war crimes on both sides. Out of the two parties involved, one is a terrorist organization and the other a democratic state. Canada will always side with the democratic state but we expect our allies to act responsibly.

Nobody expected a terrorist organization to abide by international law. We expect more from Israel since it's a democratic state.

I am really proud that Michael didn't cave in that he stood by what he believes in. This is real leadership.

Alex

10/14/2006 2:05 PM  
Blogger DivaRachel a dit...

Rachel sings

I'm bringin' Co-FedBack......

10/15/2006 2:04 PM  
Blogger Manitoba Liberal a dit...

I don't think anyone cares about Iggy's policies on education. He's too busy making news with his foot and mouth disease.

His silly trip to the mid-east will no doubt provide another week of entertainment from the Liberal Parties very own Stockwell Day.

I wonder if this makes Antonio, the Liberal Ezra Levant?

10/15/2006 2:21 PM  
Blogger WestmountLiberal a dit...

One (ie IGGY) might want to re-look at Lloyd Axworthy's early 1990's proposals on reforming post secondary education BEFORE contemplating another.
I'm certain the government of Quebec (or any other province) would love a Liberal PM telling them how transfer payments should be administered locally.

10/16/2006 1:43 PM  
Blogger Gavin Neil a dit...

Concerned YL - go take this to one of the many posts on Iggy's Israel comments.

Antonio - you pretty much gloss over "equality". If regions and cities are to enjoy equality, there will have to be recognized and standards in education quality, which could and would be tested by an authority, an authority which would necessarily be Federal and also necessarily armed with the power to incent or coerce conformance, or both.

Me, I think that's just peachy, but I understand that it should send shivers down your spine...

G

10/17/2006 2:46 PM  

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