moved for leave to introduce Bill C-260, An Act relating to cash contributions by Canada and to criteria and conditions in respect of post-secondary education.
Mr. Speaker, it is my great privilege to table this bill on behalf of residents of Edmonton Strathcona and on behalf of all Canadians who recognize the value and importance of quality, accessible post-secondary education in this country. I want to thank my colleague, the member for Edmonton Griesbach, for seconding my bill today.
Post-secondary education is key to growing our economy and to positioning Canada as a knowledge leader in the 21st century. However, successive governments over the past two decades have failed to make post-secondary education a priority.
Over that time, federal support for post-secondary education has declined over 40% and, not surprisingly, student debt has risen 40%. Declining federal and provincial funding for post-secondary education means higher tuition costs, the corporatization of universities and colleges, the outsourcing of academic and support labour and lower-quality education, and it is putting academic institutions in our country at risk of failure.
It is time for the federal government to be a real partner in post-secondary education again. This bill, the Canada post-secondary education act, would create a financial transfer for post-secondary education and would impose qualifying criteria that provinces must meet in order to receive federal funding, including limiting the use of short-term contracts and casual labour and ensuring affordability for students.
Students, faculty and staff deserve better from our government. I urge my fellow parliamentarians to support the Canada post-secondary education act for all Canadians.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)