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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Wage War on Poverty, Not on Teachers and Schools: Poverty and Education in Nova Scotia

October 17th, 2014 · · Maritime Provinces, Nova Scotia, Poverty and Income Inequality

Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. There is lots of work ahead of us before we achieve that goal.

Poverty rates in Canada are growing and the income gap is widening as more and more of the working force are working for minimum wage, or less than previous years due to the rising costs of living. The most recent report card on child and family poverty in Nova Scotia reports that the child poverty rate in Nova Scotia is 17.3%; the fifth highest in the country.


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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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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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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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Ontario Election Promises on Tuition Fees: Room for Improvement

June 2nd, 2014 · · Education, Ontario

By Kayle Hatt and Erika Shaker

The Ontario election has been mostly focused on jobs and economic growth – and debating the credibility of PC Leader Tim Hudak’s proposal to cut the public service. However, Ontario also faces other problems worthy of attention, one of which is growing concern over the affordability of higher education.

The backstory:

Under Rae (NDP) and Harris/Eves (Progressive Conservative), tuition fees in Ontario rose from the early-1990s for the better part of a decade until they climbed to the second highest (on average) in all of Canada (second to Nova Scotia at the time).

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Life is more than Math: Don’t narrow our public education curriculum

May 30th, 2014 · · Education, Maritime Provinces, Nova Scotia, Youth

This blog is the first in CCPA-NS’ new series called “Progressive Voices on Public Education in Nova Scotia.” With an education review underway in the province and expected to table a report in the Fall, it is timely to spark discussion and debate on how to strengthen our public education system and indeed, reclaim our public schools for active citizenship, critical thinking, and creating safe, healthy, vibrant, diverse communities. This is also a call-out to anybody who might want to contribute to the series, get in touch:

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Should an Ontario university degree be a debt sentence?

April 23rd, 2014 · · Education, Ontario, Youth

Right now, post-secondary students across Ontario are finishing up their studies for the year and heading off to summer jobs – if they have been lucky enough to land one.

New research from the CCPA demonstrates just how difficult it is to save up for tuition fees every year.

Ontario’s students face the highest average tuition in Canada, paying on average $7,259/year on tuition. Saskatchewan is next in line at $6,394. Newfoundland and Labrador have the lowest average tuition fees at $2,644.

tuition fees

Source: Tuition in Canada, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Retrieved from:

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