Nova Scotia Students Seeking Federal Leadership on Education

Canadian Federation of Students

Students from Nova Scotia are in Ottawa this week meeting with Members of Parliament and Senators to call for a high-quality and accessible system of post-secondary education in Nova Scotia and across the country.

Students from CFS Nova Scotia protest the NDP government’s tuition increases in Winter 2011

“In Nova Scotia, we’ve seen our government make consecutive cuts to funding for higher education, which have been passed on to students and their families through increased tuition fee and student debt,” said Zac Quinlan, Executive Vice-President of the Mount Saint Vincent University Students’ Union. “We have come to Ottawa to call on our federal government to take meaningful steps to ensure students have access to affordable, high-quality post-secondary education.”

Students from Nova Scotia are joining others from across the country in Ottawa as part of the Canadian Federation of Students’ lobby week. Students from Nova Scotia are meeting with Members of Parliament and Senators from Nova Scotia including Megan Leslie, Robert Chisholm, Geoff Regan, Mark Eyking and Scott Brison.

According to Statistics Canada, average undergraduate tuition fees in Nova Scotia are currently $ 5,722, and are rising at an annual rate of three percent. Earlier this month, the provincial government announced they would cut university funding for the third year in a row. A recent report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that since 1991 Nova Scotia has consistently been the most difficult province in which to attain a post-secondary education.

“It’s absurd that Nova Scotians can pay nearly half as much for the same education by taking a ferry to Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Nicholas Stark, Nova Scotia Representative for the Canadian Federation of Students. “It’s time for the federal government to treat post-secondary education as a national priority, and ensure that students have access to a better future no matter where in Canada they happen to live.”

Students’ recommendations are outlined in a policy paper, Public Education for the Public Good, which is available for download at http://www.cfs-fcee.ca. The centerpiece of the report is a federal legislation that sets out a national vision for post-secondary education.

The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada’s largest students’ organization, uniting more than 600,000 university and college students from all ten provinces.

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