President and CEO
Today was an important and unprecedented day for the Canadian Council on Learning.
For four hours my senior staff and I spoke directly to a group of MPs and senators about the state of lifelong learning in Canada.
CCL sent an invitation to every member of both houses of Parliament to join us in Ottawa for Taking Stock of Lifelong Learning in Canada: 2005–2010, a comprehensive overview of lifelong learning. We were pleased that nearly 20 parliamentarians accepted our invitation to what was a stimulating exchange.
Our goal was to present these decision-makers with the facts they need to develop effective approaches to learning. It is the only way to keep Canada competitive in the global knowledge-based economy. We gave them some good news, but we were also frank about the bad news, including the fact that while Canada has no coherent national approach to lifelong learning, our international competitors either do—or they are working seriously to create one. And that means that as we stand still, we are losing ground. We insisted, bluntly, that Canada put its house in order, and described the dire consequences of failing to recognize the urgency to act.
This face-to-face session with parliamentarians from the Conservative Party, Liberal Party and New Democratic Party.happened, of course, the day before our funding agreement with the government of Canada came to an end.
As you know, CCL is determined to remain a catalyst for lifelong learning, but we will be forced to reduce some of our activity. That’s why we organized today’s encounter. We wanted to acknowledge the public funding that breathed life into our endeavours for six years. And we wanted to help guide our policy-makers as they confront the hard questions ahead. Among them:
On this website you will find all the materials that distributed to the parliamentarians and to the media. I invite you to read through them and send me your reaction. I think you’ll agree that Canada faces serious challenges in the next few years. I believe our political leaders will get the message loud and clear.