The current economic crisis has forced society into a pivotal place where the values that will follow us into a new era need to be affirmed.
In a time where the auto industry garners the front pages of media outlets for their bailout cries, the focus on investing in education during the recession seems to have taken a backseat.
Under-funding educational institutions contributes to a society that is inevitably left behind; innovation, research and learning increase the quality of the economy which in turn increases the quality of life for its citizens.
Misplaced value is being reflected through cut to the CBC, a crucial public institution that provides a rare type of journalism that educates and informs Canadians without the necessity of advertisers.
Universities too have been been subject of government cutbacks. This may severly affect the ability of every Canadian to receive a post-secondary education.
For instance, as the Canadian government deals with the recession, it has decided that both the Distance and Textbook and Technology grants will no longer be given to students who do not receive OSAP.
It may appear to be a minor change; however, any withdrawal of support to students from the government is a backward move.
On a more positive note, the government has unexpectedly allotted $3.6 million to Wilfrid Laurier Univeristy for its operating costs. Hopefully, the priority of this funding will be to maintain quality in all undergraduate and graduate programs.
Although the funds are a one-time allotment, it buys the time necessary to figure out a more permanent financial plan that will keep Laurier running up to par.
When budgets get tight there needs to be value placed in perpetuating competitive educational institutions that offer younger generations the training and skills necessary to contribute to Canada in the future.
Hopefully Laurier administration has similar ideas when passing the 2009-10 operating budget.