What to look for in tonight’s debate

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With a mere eight days of campaigning left, Ontario’s close election campaign may come down to tonight’s leader debate. So what should faculty and students be looking for?

Higher education will likely come up during the debate, especially after the Liberal-NDP spat over per-student funding. There are two big policy questions at play here:

  • How will the parties make higher education more affordable for Ontario’s students?
  • What are their plans for increasing per-student funding, in order to preserve and expand the quality of higher education in Ontario?

The Liberals, PCs, and NDP all have platform planks that deal with the affordability piece, so look for the leaders to go after the opposing proposals. But the per-student funding piece is a big unknown, since no party has announced a plan to increase operating grants to universities. And this is an absolute necessity in the university system. Without a bump in funding, our institutions won’t be able to hire the additional professor, or renew the aging infrastructure, needed for a quality educational experience.

The debate will air tonight at 6:30 p.m. on CBC.

Photo from The Globe and Mail.

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