Every year the Chamber releases a pre-budget submission outlining what we are looking for in the province’s spring budget. The submission also serves as the basis for our advocacy work over the coming year. The following is an excerpt from our submission that was released earlier this year.
Education is the foundation of our collective prosperity and an investment in our future. The Halifax Chamber of Commerce agrees, and has identified growing and nurturing a skilled workforce as one of the major thrusts of our 2013-2018 strategic plan’s goal to see Halifax become a top three economic growth city in Canada by 2018. If we want to be a more successful city and province in the future, we need to pay close attention to the education decisions we make today. In the Chamber’s pre-budget submission last year, we called on the government to take three main actions on education:
With the release of the Minister’s Panel on Education’s (the Panel) final report, we are very pleased to see that the government is making progress on all three of these goals. Overall, the Chamber was very happy with the Panel’s report. It is a bold call for change and it clearly argues that to build a better education system we need to change the status quo. In particular, we are very supportive of the Panel’s recommendations to:
It was also good to see that the Panel acknowledged that there will likely be little new money to fund the education system. While we approved of most of the Panel’s recommendations, we had hoped to see a stronger focus on preparing students for the careers of tomorrow and entrepreneurship training.
The government has made good progress in this area, but this is just the beginning. Education Minister Karen Casey has promised to release the government’s response to the Minister’s Panel by January. We are looking for her report to be bold and with a strong implementation plan implement the kind of change that is clearly necessary.
The Chamber recommends that the province: