JOLIBOIS FORCES LIBERAL GOVERNEMENT TO LOOK INTO FUNDING FOR NORTEP-NORPAC

NDP’s Jolibois welcomed NORTEP-NORPAC students to Ottawa and called on the Liberal government to look into their concerns

OTTAWA – Georgina Jolibois, NDP MP for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, arranged a meeting for a delegation of students from Northern Teacher Education Program - Northern Professional Access College (NORTEP-NORPAC) with the office of the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett. Students came to Ottawa to highlight the urgency for the federal government to immediately fund the program, following the province's decision to redirect funding from their northern learning institution.

"A recent study echoed what Indigenous educators and leaders have been voicing for years: improving the level of education and employment for young Indigenous people will boost the economy in Saskatchewan by $90 billion," said Jolibois in this week's question period. "Yet following federal cuts, the province of Saskatchewan redirected funding from NORTEP-NORPAC. This has students and staff uncertain about their future."

NORTEP-NORPAC is an inclusive learning environment where Indigenous and non-Indigenous students learn and grow in northern Saskatchewan. The decision to redirect funding by the province of Saskatchewan came last summer. This decision will cost NORTEP-NORPAC autonomyand provides no guarantees that the successful aspects of the program such as the student living allowances and unique northern cultural post-secondary education elements will continue.

"I have brought this file to the attention of the minister three times in the House, and I have written a letter to her, which remains unanswered," added Jolibois in the House of Commons. "The Minister and her government must help NORTEP-NORPAC to ensure it remains autonomous and thriving, or they will continue to leave the future of our students at risk."

After Jolibois's continued pressure on this issue, Minister Bennett has asked her office to work with the students and NORTEP-NORPAC administration.

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Question Period 2016/12/07: https://youtu.be/gx1LTi_b1zE

Question Period 2016/12/08: https://youtu.be/g0LvqUYVG_g