ST. JOHN’S – Students are calling on government to publicize their plans for College of the North Atlantic after a Liberal MHA’s comments raised concerns about the college’s future.
This week, at a protest organized by NAPE, Neil King, Liberal MHA for Bonavista, admitted to protestors that he has been sitting on a committee to fight to keep the community’s CNA campus open.
“Government should let the people of the province in on the secret that Mr. King let slip. Is the Liberal government planning to close rural CNA campuses as part of their ongoing attack on public education?” said Alex Noel, Treasurer of the Canadian Federation of Students – Newfoundland and Labrador. “CNA campuses are important economic drivers in many communities across Newfoundland and Labrador, and the people in those communities have a right to know if the future of their campus is on the line.”
When asked about these comments in the House of Assembly, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills, Gerry Byrne, did not deny that cuts could be coming to the province’s only public college.
“Studies have shown that every dollar invested in College of the North Atlantic results in an eleven dollar and fifty cent return for Newfoundland and Labrador,” added Noel. “Investments in College of the North Atlantic are investments in our collective future.”
In early March the Opposition Critic for Advanced Education and Skills issued a press release about rumours that College of the North Atlantic campuses could be slated for closure. Budget 2016 included language about a review of CNA.
“This government has already begun to starve public education through cuts to grants, Memorial University and K-12 education, a book tax and the closure of over half of the province’s libraries,” continued Noel. “Students and their communities deserve an honest and transparent review process and a path to save public education, including our CNA campuses.”
The Canadian Federation of Students – Newfoundland and Labrador represents every public post-secondary student in the province.
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