Students are victims yet again in latest Liberal about-face

September 18, 2014

NDP Leader and Advanced Education critic Maureen MacDonald says she is prepared to fight alongside students who want their voices included in post-secondary decision making.

“To exclude students from discussions about things that directly impact them is an absolute insult. These students are the future of our province and to say to them, ‘Your voice doesn’t matter’ is astounding,” said MacDonald.

MacDonald’s comments come in reaction to news that student representatives have been told they will be excluded from this year’s universities-government Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) negotiations for the first time since 2005. The NDP included students at the MOU table for the agreement signed in 2011.

“During the election the Liberals assured students their participation would be welcomed in decision making but now they are being told they’re not needed. I can understand why they would feel betrayed,” said MacDonald.

“First they were subject to a huge tax increase as a result of the Graduate Retention Rebate being eliminated with no stopgap and now this. Our post-secondary students deserve better.”

In a response to a StudentsNS questionnaire (#19) in the lead up to the 2013 election, the Liberal Party stated:

Students have to be part of the conversation when it comes to our post-secondary education system. A Liberal government will ensure full participation of students in discussions that have a direct impact on our post-secondary education sector. We cannot move forward without our students.

“Stephen McNeil promised Nova Scotians transparency and accountability. By excluding students from MOU talks the government is doing the exact opposite,” said MacDonald. “I am ready to work with students to ensure their voice does not continue to fall on deaf ears.”