Canada’s ministers of education are meeting in Saskatoon for the 95th meeting of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC). The ministers released the following statement on post-secondary education:
During their meeting, ministers acknowledged the key role of postsecondary education in maintaining Canada’s economic competitiveness. They emphasized the importance of substantial, predictable, stable, and ongoing federal funding for postsecondary education to meet current and emerging needs. Ministers are seeking a long-term increase in federal financial investments and, as the Council of the Federation has stated, “an adequate level of federal funding through the Canada Social Transfer (CST)”.
Ministers acknowledged the up to $2 billion recently announced in the federal budget for repairs, renovations, and expansion of postsecondary institutions. Ministers noted the federal government’s recognition of the need to provide short-term labour market stimulus and to generate long-term, structural economic benefits associated with the knowledge economy. Ministers urged the federal government to respect provincial/territorial responsibility for education and their priorities, when allocating infrastructure funding.
“Federal investment addresses urgent needs in postsecondary education, but provinces and territories reiterate the importance of a permanent increase to the Canada Social Transfer to fund their priorities and operating costs on an ongoing basis,” said the Honourable Kelly Lamrock, Chair of CMEC and Minister of Education for New Brunswick.
CMEC considers that today’s postsecondary students form an important part of the future of Canada. Offering them the support of strong postsecondary systems is a key element for Canada’s economic competitiveness.
Ministers further noted that the federal government needs to consider the special circumstances of territorial governments in Canada in meeting their postsecondary requirements.