The federal government has responded to cries of alarm from the university sector with the promise of 1,200 new positions for university researchers. The news was released in the Throne Speech read by new Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson on October 12.
Sixty million dollars will be spent next year; this is expected to increase to $180 million by the third year of the program. It will provide about $100,000 for younger scientists and $200,000 for senior researchers in the form of salaries, and frees them from teaching duties.
Rector Frederick Lowy welcomed the news, and said at University Senate last Friday that he expects Concordia to receive between 1 and 2 per cent of the new money via the major granting agencies, given our current rate of research funding.
However, the federal government's last stab at bailing out post-second education, the $3-billion Millennium Scholarship Foundation, is still mired in politics, at least as far as Quebec students are concerned.
While students in the other provinces will begin to receive their share of the money in January, Ottawa and Quebec are still arguing over how much will go directly to the students (Quebec wants half the money to go to post-secondary education, rather than individuals), and over which flag will take precedence on the cheques.
At Concordia, students are being asked by their student union to express their views in a referendum over three days, October 26 to 28. The questions being asked are:
* Do you want more variety of food on campus?
* Do you want to pay for a women's centre?
* Do you want your administrative fees eliminated?
* Do you want to see big changes in the Quebec university system?
The Concordia Student Union plans to participate in a day-long student strike on November 3.
- Sources: The Globe and Mail, The Gazette, The Concordian