March 1997 CAUT Welcomes Federal PSE Initiatives CAUT President William Bruneau has welcomed the initiatives in the federal budget dealing with university research, student aid and charitable giving. However, Dr. Bruneau also called on the government to consider these positive steps as part of a long-term road map to restore the much battered finances of Canada’s universities and colleges. Minister Unveils New Federal Youth Employment Strategy In what has been called a major Liberal drive to get more young Canadians employed in the economy, Human Resources Development Minister Pierre Pettigrew unveiled on Feb. 12 his much-awaited new federal Youth Employment Strategy. In an opening speech to an audience of fellow Cabinet ministers, youth initiative advocates, and secondary and post-secondary students, Minister Pettigrew declared, "Many people look at the situation facing Canada's young people today and they see a problem. That's not surprising. The facts of youth employment are clear ... It's called no experience, no job — no job, no experience." Education and training research networks established SSHRC has established five large-scale research networks in education and training. Involving universities and community partners in all provinces and several countries, each network will receive annual funding of $225,000 for the next five years. They were selected from 47 grant applications submitted in a two-stage national competition which concluded in October of last year. United Lobby Forces Changes to Manitoba’s PSE Act A concerted lobbying effort organized by the Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations (MOFA) and supported by academics across the province has convinced the Manitoba government to make significant amendments to its recently adopted Council on Post-Secondary Education Act (Bill 32). Bargaining Workshops Held in Moncton and Halifax The CAUT Collective Bargaining and Economic Benefits Committee (CBEBC) has sponsored two collective bargaining workshops since the fall. These workshops have been conducted by Christiane Tardif and Pierre Choquette, CAUT collective bargaining officers, with the participation of other people. The Opposition Responds on PSE Jean Charest, the Conservative Leader, attacked the scale of cuts to the transfer payments to the provinces for health, post-secondary education and welfare and said that these should be slowed down. The Reform Party was already on record in its election platform calling for more funding of research and development — to be paid for by slashing other federal programs. Martin Announces Changes to CPP Finance Minister Paul Martin has introduced proposals that significantly alter the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). In introducing the proposals on Feb. 14, just days prior to the release of his 1997 Federal Budget, Martin said that the proposed changes were made to ensure that the CPP is affordable to future generations and can be sustained in the face of an aging population, increasing longevity and the retirement of the baby boom generation. Alternative Budget Sparks National Debate For the past three years a coalition of labour and social action groups has proposed an alternative budget to that of the Liberals. The coalition thought it could only be credible if it worked on a complete budget with differing assumptions from the federal government. Otherwise opposition to the government’s project seems self-interested, fragmented and lacking a national vision. CAUT Tentatively Supports Retirement Income Lobby In early December, CAUT was approached to become a member of the Retirement Income Coalition (RIC). Charles Pielsticker of the Conference for Advanced Life Underwriters and Malcolm Hamilton, a principal with Mercer, have undertaken to organize a group of associations concerned over Canada’s retirement income system. Mary Warner Case Update In May-July 1993 a Board of Inquiry of the Ontario Human Rights Commission had completed 23 days of hearings when Brock University's lawyers challenged the impartiality of the Chair. A ruling was sought under the Judicial Review Procedure Act to prevent the commission from appointing a new Board of Inquiry and to halt the proceedings due to long delays. The Divisional Court refused Brock's request. The university sought leave to appeal this decision, and leave was denied in June 1996. Collaborative R&D Benefits All To get the most out of research these days, it makes sense to combine the best talent from top sources. The cooperative efforts between Canada’s academic community and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Research Branch are a clear illustration of this principle. A Whole New Meaning for Office Politics One summer morning five years ago, the UBC Faculty Association staff had a visitor, the business agent of one of the Canadian Union of Public Employees locals on campus. He arrived in a foul temper, having just discovered the administration planned to construct a residential college for Asian graduate visa students.