Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie is calling on the McNeil Liberals to come clean about its dealings with Cape Breton University, after it was revealed in FOIPOP documents that the Labour and Advanced Education Minister was dishonest about how much funding the university asked for ahead of the September budget.
“How can university administrators, or even students, trust this government, when it can’t even get its story straight about how it treats them? Minister Kousoulis and the Liberal government need to set the record straight about what went on here,” says Baillie.
Last month during Question Period, Minister Kousoulis said that the government gave CBU “$1 million a year, which was more than what they requested.”
However, as the FOIPOP documents show, CBU requested funding numerous times throughout the spring. The first request was for $4.3 million, and later requests were for around $3.7-3.8 million. CBU included a business case for the proposed increase, and even wrote Premier Stephen McNeil’s Deputy Minister, Bernie Miller, asking for help securing funding.
When it was revealed that over the years, Acadia University received $24.8 million in extra funding above and beyond its grant, CBU rightfully spoke out against the unfair funding deal. They have since said the $1 million in additional funding provided in the September budget doesn’t resolve the long-standing funding imbalance.
“For the past four years, the Liberals have been telling all Nova Scotia universities that they had to live within their means and there would be no extra money. We all know now that this was a lie,” says Baillie. It’s time for the Liberals to level the playing field and ensure all universities and their students are treated fairly.”