Decision Canada 2006

Friday, December 09, 2005

Federal Involvement in Provincial Jurisdiction - it Can be Done Well!

Let’s start off by saying, education is a provincial matter. Any federal program dealing with education has to be very careful to ensure it does not infringe on provincial responsibility. That said, I think that the Conservatives are on the right track with yesterday’s release of an education plank of the policy.

This helps not only those attending universities, but those who are going into the trades as well. Harper announced a tax deduction for tools, an apprenticeship grant for apprentices, and a tax credit for companies who bring on apprentices (I think that one was a double-release from their small business tax announcement a couple days ago). This should help to attract more people into the trades and open up training spots for them – there is a shortage of skilled tradespeople in Canada right now, and this will address the issue to the best extent that the Federal Government can.

And then, we have the post-secondary education planks. A tax credit of $500 for textbooks is good – that’ll cover, oh, between a third and half of the cost of textbooks over a year, helping students without giving them a completely free ride. Working with the provinces to increase family income thresholds for student loans – absolutely good idea. I wanted to take out a loan when I was in University in order to pay for my own education (rather then live off my parents), but because my family income was too high (you only needed, at that time, a family income of around $50k or so for a single child not to qualify) I could not take out a loan. Yes, my parents could have afforded to help me out some – but, instead of living off them, I wanted to work it off myself. Exempting the first $10,000 in scholarships and bursaries from taxation – again, a good idea.

This goes about as far as the federal government can (and should) go with regards to education. It doesn’t infringe too far on the provinces, and instead of hauling bags of money around, it seeks to reduce tax burdens.


  • I agree that education is a provincial issue and that the Federal government should not intrude further into education than what you suggested. However, if they provinces recieve more money flat, they have more resources to work with for education, which would be more effective than these side Conservative tactics.

    By Blogger Whatever, at 6:28 PM  

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