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“Education lobby groups strive for attention”

September 9, 2008
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from “CFS, CASA, and CAUT gear up for federal election: The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, Canadian Federation of Students, and Canadian Association of University Teachers all hope to sway the government in the upcoming election,” Carl Meyer, CUP Ottawa Bureau Chief (Sept. 9/08):

Now that a federal election has been set, student and teacher lobby groups in Canada want post-secondary education to be an important issue, and they are rolling out campaigns this fall to make sure it is.

The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) all say they have campaign strategies mapped out in advance of the elected scheduled for October 14.

David Robinson, CAUT associate executive director, expects his group to organize all-candidates’ debates, as well as meetings about post-secondary education. As well, he suggested CAUT would conduct “an analysis once the party platforms are out of where [each party] stands on post-secondary issues.”

Both the CFS and the CAUT oppose the new Copyright Act amendment, Bill C-61, introduced in June before the Parliamentary summer recess.

The bill makes several references to restrictions placed on material generated in educational environments, and both organizations feel this restriction would hinder students’ development.

Both CASA and CAUT say they did not see either the current government or past governments provide a philosophical approach to education governance.

Robinson also notes the lack of federal party discussion on post-secondary issues. “We just don’t have any political parties at this point that are ready to take the federal government into a leadership role, dealing with some of the issues that we need to deal with,” he said.

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