Behind the Numbers

Entries Tagged as 'Education'

Degrees of Separation

April 2nd, 2015 · · Capitalism, Corporations, Education

The shaky economy seems to have prompted Canada’s CEOs to pontificate on what steps should be—nay, must be—taken to solve our economic woes as a nation. Case in point: on Monday, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) released a paper titled “Career ready: Towards a national strategy for the mobilization of Canadian potential.”

Canada’s workforce challenges, it explains, are profound. But the reason we have not met them is simple: too much education for too many young people in too many areas that do not have a direct application to the needs of the job market.

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Teach For Canada: De- or re-colonizing Aboriginal communities in Canada?

February 25th, 2015 · · Aboriginal Issues, Education

As instruments for advancing democratic values, Canada’s public schools have an ambiguous legacy. Over the years, many exclusionary and colonialist policies have been challenged, and this shift in cultural values has inspired policies to help make public schools in Canada more diverse and accessible.

It is less apparent, however, that public schools in Canada have come to grips with the historical impacts, and ongoing threats, of colonialism. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said Canada has no colonial history, but a more honest evaluation of the real situation would begin by acknowledging that “First Nations people in Canada continue to suffer from the onslaught of colonization.”

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Climate Change: The Great Educational Challenge

September 23rd, 2014 · · Education, Environment, Nova Scotia

This blog is the third in CCPA-NS’ series called “Progressive Voices on Public Education in Nova Scotia.”


The People’s Climate March showed an incredible level of solidarity across our planet and was a visible way to capture the news cycle and send a message to world leaders to act. But, climate change itself is not news. For those of us who are latecomers to the scene, Al Gore’s 2006 award-winning film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” should have alerted us. If that didn’t do it, surely the Fourth Report (2007) and the Fifth Report (2013) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change would have. We can no longer hide from the extremely unpleasant fact that climate change is the most serious crisis humankind has ever faced. We must take action commensurate to the weight of this remarkable challenge.

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A degree is the new high school diploma: But who can afford it?

September 12th, 2014 · · Education, Income Inequality, Ontario

It’s accepted wisdom that an undergraduate degree is the new high school diploma – it’s the ticket into the workforce.

But that ticket comes at an unrelentingly steep price: average tuition and fees in Ontario are the highest in the country, with no sign of abating.

While tuition fees are increasing all across Canada, Ontario’s have tripled — an increase way, way beyond the rate of inflation, as the following chart shows.



Ontario tuition and other fees are estimated at $8,474 this year and they’re expected to climb to $9,483 by 2017 – a 12 per cent increase, making Ontario consistently the most expensive place in Canada to try to get a ticket into the workforce.

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Let’s Be Creative: Let’s Destroy the University

August 26th, 2014 · · Education

In its July issue, The Economist placed on its front page a picture of a graduate cap turned into a bomb nearing explosion under the heading “Creative destruction: reinventing the university.” Repurposing Joseph Schumpeter’s well-known phrase, the magazine announced this time that university, that venerable institution, would undergo a true revolution because of rising costs, transformations in the labour market, and an important technological shift.

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Funding Denied? Inconceivable! The Fire Swamp of Canadian Student Aid

July 21st, 2014 · · Education, Youth


The decision to accept an offer of admission to university is a pivotal one for students; an emotional experience of high hopes, idealistic expectations and trepidation. But it also marks the first step in a series of necessary and practical preparations for any journey; deciding the best path, weighing the benefits of leaving home or staying, finding a job to save money for the road ahead, and then navigating their provincial student aid system – an adventure all its own. But regrettably, the mechanics of the student aid adventure have largely remained a mystery, where students trying to assemble sufficient financial resources must often resort to leaps of faith in uncharted territory.

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For the Sixth Year in a Row, Students are Struggling to Find Summer Jobs.

July 17th, 2014 · · Economy & Economic Indicators, Education, Employment and Labour

There is something great about summer in Canada; it’s hot but also full of promise with places to visit, camping, travelling, cottaging, trips to the beach and various summer events and festivals.

For many of Canada’s students, however, summer has not been so great. New data from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey released Friday shows that students are struggling to find summer jobs for the sixth year in a row.

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The Taxpayers’ Federation is wrong about SSHRC

July 9th, 2014 · · Education

Did you hear about the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation’s latest research stunt?

Just before Canada Day – a time when high school graduates are touring university campuses around the country – the CTF slapped a graduation cap and gown on their ubiquitous pig mascot and held a press conference denouncing ‘wacky’ student research projects that receive public funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Demonstrating significant intellectual stretch, a CTF intern and undergraduate student explained the organization’s position as follows: “SSHRC may be giving a few students free money for wacky research – [but] they’re actually burdening all Canadian students with higher taxes and millions added to federal government debt.”

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#voteON: What we should have been talking about

June 9th, 2014 · · Education, Employment and Labour, Health Care, Income Inequality, Ontario, Poverty and Income Inequality, Taxes and Tax Cuts, Uncategorized

The Ontario election is nearing its end and by Thursday night we will know the makeup of the next provincial government.

In some ways, this election featured a lot of substantive debate and policy discussion. For instance, a lot of focus was placed on the relative merit and credibility of the party platforms (and costing of those platforms).

On the other hand, a lot of important issues didn’t get much air time.

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Public Education Reform: Lessons from the United States on what NOT to do

June 4th, 2014 · · Education, Maritime Provinces, Nova Scotia, Poverty and Income Inequality, Youth

This blog is the second in CCPA-NS’ series called “Progressive Voices on Public Education in Nova Scotia.”

The Minister’s Panel on Education has challenged Nova Scotians to “get involved” and help “effect change in the education system.” Public schools are among our most important democratic institutions, so the call for public input is a welcome one. If the Minister’s panel really wants to effect positive change in Nova Scotia’s public schools, it’s worth paying serious attention to what is and isn’t working in other contexts.

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