The federal government announced on Jan. 8 it would no longer be providing funding for the Canadian Council on Learning.
The council was created in 2004 in order to, “provide Canadians with the most current information about effective approaches to learning for learners, educators, employers and policy-makers,” according to its website.
The federal government funds provided 95 per cent of CCL’s funding. It is unclear how the council will be able to continue their research when the funding runs out at the end of March.
Paul Cappon, chief executive officer of CCL, said the council is hoping to continue functioning, though its operations will be scaled down dramatically.
“We’ve already cut [our research] by two-thirds, and we’re going to have to cut another two-thirds. So, the volume [of research] will be about 15 per cent of what we’ve been able to do for the last few years,” Cappon noted.
“We will certainly continue because the national reports we produce — particularly on higher education — are so important to Canadians.”
Over the past five years, the council has conducted research and published reports on different aspects of learning, from adult literacy to early childhood education.
Shawn Lewis, press secretary for London-Fanshawe’s NDP member of Parliament Irene Mathyssen, explained Mathyssen was “quite disappointed in this action, [which] seems to be a partisan action.”
“The conservatives don’t like what the Canadian Council on Learning was saying, so their funding has been eliminated,” Lewis said.
While Mathyssen was unavailable for comment, Lewis said the council does good work. “People in offices, who should be listening, don’t want to hear the message.”
The council has earned international acclaim for its innovative Composite Learning Index, which uses statistical data to analyze Canada’s progress in learning of all kinds. The index is being used as a basis in the development of the similar European Lifelong Learning Indicators project in Germany, according to CCL’s website.
The council is not the only education-related organization to lose federal funding recently. Last week the Canadian Millennium Scholarship Foundation, which provided financial aid to post-secondary students, was also officially dissolved.