October 31, 2022

We believe a strong network of colleges and institutes is a vital public good

Let’s get real about “recovery”! Since the start of the pandemic, society has undergone (and is still undergoing) a huge shift – and it isn’t getting any easier. Facing inflation, labour shortages, large-scale economic transformations, and a climate crisis, we need a good plan to rebuild Canada’s workforce, address inequality, and transition to a net-zero economy. Where do colleges and institutes fit into all this?

We believe a strong network of colleges and institutes is a vital public good. Colleges and institutes make learning accessible to everyone in their communities, no matter their background or circumstances. As partners in innovation, they make space for every innovator. And as skills providers, they make sure that everyone has an opportunity to find meaningful employment.

We make sure colleges and institutes see themselves in the national agenda, and that the federal government sees our members in theirs. That’s what budget season is all about. This year, we have seven recommendations to ensure decisions makers in Ottawa can tap into the expertise and maximize the potential of Canada’s largest postsecondary network.

  1. To drive business and community innovation, we recommend: Doubling the impact of the Tri-Council College and Community Innovation Program through a new $331M investment over five years, with a permanent increase of $85M per year ongoing. (SDG 9)
  2. To build a futureproof workforce, we recommend: Adopting measures to address systemic labour shortages now and into the future. (SDG 8)
    • This includes developing career road maps for key industries, re-aligning federal training and learning programs to support employment transitions, and creating permanent residency streams for international students.
  3. To build the next generation of campus infrastructure, we recommend: Creating a new Green Postsecondary Infrastructure Fund, with a minimum of $500 million a year over five years being dedicated to helping colleges achieve net zero emission campuses. (SDG 13)
  4. To support a net-zero economy, we recommend: Undertaking an inventory of critical strategic skills infrastructure to ensure that Canada has the training space available to meet the needs of key economic sectors. (SDG 8 & SDG 13)
  5. To bring the future to all communities, we recommend: Investing $100M over five years in a new network of 50 College Sustainability Centres across Canada to leverage college and institute assets including campus infrastructure, industry, and community partnerships to meet Canada’s net zero goals. (SDG 9 & SDG 13)
  6. To keep our commitment to Reconciliation, we recommend: Working with national Indigenous organizations, Indigenous institutes, colleges and universities to address ongoing barriers to postsecondary education for Indigenous peoples and to integrate land-based learning and Indigenous ways of knowing in postsecondary programs. (SDG 4 & SDG 10)
  7. To support a global future, we recommend: Increasing support to developing countries to build capacity in their skills development systems, recognizing the critical role education and skills training play in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Help share the college and institute story in Ottawa and beyond! Now is the time to reach out to your local members of parliament to share how we can maximize the impact of colleges and institutes and help make Canada futureproof.

  • Ask your partners to be vocal too! (The more of us speaking up, the more likely we are to be heard).