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Ontario’s Colleges at 50

Ontario's Colleges at 50. Panel discussion flyer. March 31st, 2015.

Former Ontario Premier, Bob Rae will join a panel of experts to discuss the state of Ontario’s community colleges.  

Tuesday, March 31
at 7 p.m.
London Convention Centre (Salon A)

This event is open to the public and free of charge.

Also on the panel will be Glen Jones and Mary Catharine Lennon of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and Darryl Bedford, president of the Fanshawe College faculty union.

Jones and Lennon, along with Michael L. Skolnik, are authors of a new study entitled The Rae Report in Retrospect  which reviews the impact of Rae’s 2005 report, Ontario: A Leader in Learning.  The discussion will cover the original 2005 report, the new report, and the current status of the colleges.

This study was commissioned by OPSEU Local 110, which represents Fanshawe faculty.  Bedford said that with the college system approaching its 50th anniversary, it is appropriate to take a look at where it is and where it should be going.

“The government followed up on some of the recommendations of the Rae report, but not all. They have put money into the system, but they haven’t demanded the accountability to see where that money was spent,” Bedford said. “Since 1994, the number of students in the system has nearly doubled, but there are fewer full-time teachers. It’s time for a reassessment.”

Issues to be addressed will include the costs of college education, access to programs and quality of education. The format will allow for questions from the floor.

“We all have a stake in this,” said Bedford. “As students, educators, parents and as taxpayers and citizens, the future of our community college system has an impact on us. We welcome participation from the public at this event.”

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas commended the local‘s initiative. “The college system has been a key element in Ontario’s development for 50 years now, and it is important to make sure it can continue to do that work effectively and well.”