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  • 2019 Federal Budget Analysis February 27, 2019
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis  Aim high, spend low: Federal budget 2019 by David MacDonald (CCPA) Budget 2019 fiddles while climate crisis looms by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (CCPA) Organizational Responses Canadian Centre for Policy […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Boots Riley in Winnipeg May 11 February 22, 2019
    Founder of the political Hip-Hop group The Coup, Boots Riley is a musician, rapper, writer and activist, whose feature film directorial and screenwriting debut — 2018’s celebrated Sorry to Bother You — received the award for Best First Feature at the 2019 Independent Spirit Awards (amongst several other accolades and recognitions). "[A] reflection of the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA-BC welcomes Emira Mears as new Associate Director February 11, 2019
    This week the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office is pleased to welcome Emira Mears to our staff team as our newly appointed Associate Director. Emira is an accomplished communications professional, digital strategist and entrepreneur. Through her former company Raised Eyebrow, she has had the opportunity to work with many organizations in the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study explores media coverage of pipeline controversies December 14, 2018
    Supporters of fossil fuel infrastructure projects position themselves as friends of working people, framing climate action as antithetical to the more immediately pressing need to protect oil and gas workers’ livelihoods. And as the latest report from the CCPA-BC and Corporate Mapping Project confirms, this framing has become dominant across the media landscape. Focusing on pipeline […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study highlights ‘uncomfortable truth’ about racism in the job market December 12, 2018
    "Racialized workers in Ontario are significantly more likely to be concentrated in low-wage jobs and face persistent unemployment and earnings gaps compared to white employees — pointing to the “uncomfortable truth” about racism in the job market, according to a new study." Read the Toronto Star's coverage of our updated colour-coded labour market report, released […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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New Research Money for the University of Alberta

An article in today’s Globe and Mail discusses some new research funding for the University of Alberta.  In particular, the article notes:

The U of A ranks second in total research funding, behind only U of T and up from fifth in 2006. This year, the U of A will spend $514-million on research, more than double its total from a decade ago.

However, the article also hints at the other side of the coin (no pun intended):

 The funding comes at a time when the cash-strapped school is looking for cuts elsewhere – reports surfaced earlier this summer that it cut off phone lines for some professors this year to save money.

I think this second point is very important.  On the one hand, I note that Canadian universities put a lot of time and effort (as well as money) into competing with each other to attract more research dollars and prestige.  On the other hand, this is happening at a time when federal cash transfer payments to provinces for universities are decreasing substantially, student-faculty ratios are increasing very significantly, tuition rates are at an all-time high, and the average student debt load is much higher than it was in the mid-1990s. (I’ve written about this two-sided phenomenon here.)

Let’s face it: if a student can’t attend every class because they have to work three part-time jobs to afford tuition, if they can’t contact their professor because the professor’s  phone is disconnected, and if class sizes are too large for professors to take the time they need with their students, it doesn’t much matter that your university just inched its way one step closer to being home to the next Nobel prize winner!

I think Canada’s universities need less razzle-dazzle and more substance.

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