OTTAWA – Canada is facing a world that is increasingly interconnected, competitive and fragile. As Parliament returns for its fall sitting, universities across Canada are looking to the federal government to invest in the people and ideas Canada needs to compete globally and build a brighter future.
Canadians are facing economic uncertainty here at home – and the way to build a brighter future and ensure growth and prosperity for the next generation is by investing in research, innovation and talent. At the same time, Canada’s most talented young researchers, have gone without a raise in nearly two decades, leaving Canada at a disadvantage in competing for our own top talent. Parliamentarians need to do more to support the exceptional talent and important research that will drive our economy and our world forward.
This next generation of researchers will be, in part, composed of the thousands of international students still waiting for their study permits this year. This presents an additional challenge in a global race for skilled workers, a race in which Canada’s universities need to successfully attract and retain talented students from around the world every year. As a result, Parliament must make fixing our immigration system a priority to continue welcoming top international talent.
Furthermore, affordable housing continues to be a barrier for too many seeking to study or work at Canada’s universities. Parliament should also work with partners across the country to address this challenge, including by expanding and simplifying the eligibility for infrastructure programs to tackle housing needs on campuses across the country.
Attracting, developing and retaining top talent is essential. And today’s cohort of students have faced unique challenges. Many are arriving on campus for the first time as second- or third-year students, and need help navigating the transition. The government has committed to action on campus mental health to support students in this difficult time, and universities urge Parliament to see this commitment through.
Just as Canada’s universities were there for students, their communities and the country during the worst days of the pandemic, they will be there as Canada recovers and builds towards the future. Universities are ready to be of continued service to Canada to tackle today’s issues as well as the next generation of challenges, and are eager to work with Parliament to address pressing challenges.
About Universities Canada
Universities Canada is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, advancing higher education, research and innovation for the benefit of all Canadians.