LIBERAL PARTY OF CANADA - Conservatives attack teachers by axing global education program

February 04, 2011

For Immediate Release
February 4, 2011

Conservatives attack teachers by axing global education program

OTTAWA – The Liberal Party of Canada is siding with Canada’s teachers against the Harper Conservatives’ abrupt decision to cut off the Canadian Teachers' Federation’s celebrated International Education Program, a 50-year partnership that helped Canadian teachers to volunteer their time and expertise to improve education and learning in developing countries.

“The Harper government has attacked all Canadian teachers and their volunteer role in promoting better education around the world by cutting off funding to this program,” said Liberal International Cooperation Critic Glen Pearson.

“For more than 50 years, teachers in this program have worked with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to promote access to quality education by volunteering their skills and expertise with under-trained teachers abroad.

“The Conservatives’ decision to cut all funding has jeopardized the education of more than two million students in the developing world, and left their 13,000 teachers in the lurch. After cutting $2 million in annual funding, the CTF has had to lay off committed employees who support this volunteer program.”

“The Conservatives’ claim that CIDA rejected funding for the program because it no longer fit with Canada’s international development priorities is completely false,” said Liberal MP John McKay. “The CTF program received a glowing review from CIDA, and promoting universal access to quality education is a pillar of Canada’s international commitments and the Millennium Development Goals.”

The Liberal Party of Canada, along with Canadian teachers, overseas teachers, ministers of education, CTF’s partner organizations and global education networks, is demanding that the Conservative government explain their rejection of CTF’s International Program, make public CIDA’s decision, release the application and all related documents, and reinstate the program.

Disturbing reports have surfaced that suggest the Harper government may have slashed the CTF’s funding in an attempt to silence their criticism of the government’s poor record on child poverty and housing in Canada and the government’s cancellation of the Liberal child care and early learning policy.

“Liberals are calling on the Conservative government to restore funding to this extremely worthy program, and to provide the CTF and all Canadians with an honest explanation as to why their proposal was rejected,” concluded Mr. Pearson.

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Contact:
Office of Glen Pearson, MP, 613-992-0805
Office of the Hon. John McKay, MP, 613-992-1447