Today, the university and college students of New Brunswick united for the first time in a rally to protest recommendations to destroy three university campuses that we all fought so hard to obtain. I took many photos, and have posted some of the good ones.
Vibrant autumn colours serve as a backdrop for a large vibrant crowd of over 1,000 students from every university in New Brunswick, as well as NBCC campuses. This issue is now a provincial issue, not just a Saint John issue. Shawn, are you listening?
With an aging population and lower birth rates, a large part of our growth will depend on immigrants. At the SJHS session last night, John Wallace talked about how our international student programs attract students from over 30 countries, making this perhaps one of the best ways to grow our population.
Normally, anglophones and francophones speak different languages in this province. Today, we spoke with one clear voice. We are united in protecting our university campuses for future generations.
A polytechnic, by definition, isn’t a bad thing. However, this is simply fancy lingo being used in the PSE report to say “community college”. There’s nothing wrong with the college, but we need both of them as separate institutions. Mashing a university and community college into one institution is like trying to keep ice cream and hot coffee in the same Thermos. Instead of ending up with something great (e.g. coffee ice cream), you’d end up with something that doesn’t really provide the joys of either original ingredient. The same type of problems arises when you go to combine a community college and university into a polytechnic.
Closing UNBSJ, and the north UdeM campuses will certainly be political suicide for the Liberals. Shawn, why give up on a second term so soon? Worst of all, the destruction of a university will be the monster that keeps on giving, as we come to realize new problems caused by going backwards in a way that no community ever has before.
A huge crowd surrounds the entrance to the legislature. Many student leaders spoke to us, as did Dr. Ed Doherty. His speech was more of the same, but I’ve noticed him attempting to emphasize more distance between himself and the report. He’s no longer pretentiously telling us to read the report, but rather emphasizing it is not government policy. Certainly you’d realize a good report within 6 weeks of it coming out enough to quickly claim credit for it, if it was any good at all. Despite our polite demands for his presence, Shawn Graham never showed his face.
We won an impossible fight for UNBSJ back in 1964. Let’s do it again.