On Campus

CCL loses funding

Tories axe grant for education research

The capacity for research into Canada’s education sector has been constrained once again. It was announced today that funding for the Canadian Council on Learning will not be continued. The CCL was created by the Liberals in 2004 with a five-year grant of $85 million. Funding was extended for a year. Federal money accounts for 95 per cent of CCL’s budget.

The CCL has released several annual reports analyzing higher education, the state of learning beyond formal schooling, and adult literacy. It exists, according to the organization’s website, “to provide Canadians with the most current information about effective approaches to learning for learners, educators, employers and policy-makers.”

Paul Cappon, the group’s CEO, told the Globe and Mail, “What Canada would lose without CCL would be like being a student without a report card of any kind. And we’d be prevented from knowing how far behind the competition we’re slipping.” Although, the Conference Board of Canada, released a thorough comparative analysis of Canada’s education system earlier this week.

Cappon says that the CCL will continue in a reduced capacity and seek alternative sources of funding.

The Council is just the latest in a series of research organizations to be clipped from the federal budget. The Canadian Millennium Scholarship Foundation officially dissolved this past Monday, and due to a lack of funding, the Canadian Policy Research Networks shut down over the holiday.

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff says the funding cut is “incredible” and that removing funding for education during a recession is the “worst possible time.” Ryan Sparrow, a government spokesman, told the Globe that the CCL was  unable to provide the type of research that the government would like to see, and, so the Tories will be working with the provinces to find an alternative approach.

Most of the remaining organizations, aside from Statistics Canada and the Conference Board, that have the capacity to research education on a national scale come from the higher education sector itself. These include the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the Canadian Association of University Teachers, and the Canadian Federation of Students. The Council's funding will end in March.

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