Party platforms

In addition to our platform comparison, we invited each party to submit responses to our questions. The unedited responses of the parties that submitted answers are linked below, in the order they were received.

NDP Response to CAUT Questionnaire

Bloc Québecois Response to CAUT Questionnaire 

Green Party Response to CAUT Questionnaire

Liberal Party Response to CAUT Questionnaire


Funding and federal leadership for post-secondary education

What we're asking for:

CAUT is calling for strong federal leadership that will increase an investment in post-secondary education and research and boost Canada’s post-pandemic recovery.  Specifically, CAUT is calling for an increase of $3 billion dollars to transfers to the provinces for public post-secondary education.  Alongside the funding, we are asking the federal government to work with the provinces on a national strategy for post-secondary education that focuses on access and affordability for all.

Liberal

None 

Conservative

None (will “Make annual federal transfers for social programs unencumbered by restrictive conditions”) 

NDP

None

Bloc

  • Education is provincial jurisdiction 

Green

  • Improve funding in federal-provincial transfers to universities and colleges, with a measurable focus on student-professor contact, mentorship, policies of inclusion and tenure track hires.  
  • Allocate $10 billion to post-secondary and trade school supports. 

Research and Science Funding

What we're asking for:

CAUT is asking for an increase in basic science investment by $350 million over four years and $140 million a year thereafter. 

Liberal

  • Add 1,000 Canada Research Chairs 
  • Establish a $75 million a year fund for colleges and universities to help commercialize leading research 
  • Introduce a new $100 million a year fund to pursue moonshot research into high-impact illnesses where a vaccine may be possible. 
  • Invest in the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research to attract and retain top academic talent 
  • Various other private/industry research (CARPA public-private bridge for research, AI, photonics) and funds for quantum research, experimental lakes 

Conservative

  • Various private/industry research 

NDP

  • "We will work with universities and health professionals to make sure that public research on critical health issues continues to flourish." 
  • Create centre of excellence for research and development of zero-emission vehicles ZEVs 
  • Various private/industry research (forestry, clean tech research & manufacturing) 

Bloc

  • Various private/industry research (pesticides, green energy, aerospace) 

Green

  • Triple the number of Canada Graduate Scholarships for master’s students and doubling the number available for PhD students.  
  • Invest in scientific research and implement the full funding recommendations from Canada’s Fundamental Science Review.  
  • Increase R&D spending to 2.5% of GDP, bringing Canada in line with the OECD average.  
  • Increase funding for the granting councils to $30 billion  
  • Ensure all grants by the federal granting councils consider Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) outcomes of the research it supports.  
  • Restore and augment Climate Change and Atmospheric Research (CCAR) funding to NSERC and ensure ongoing funding for the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory.  
  • Establish a dedicated innovation agency that focuses on developing joint projects across universities, private industry, and national labs.  
  • Support NSERC’s Framework on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in scientific research across all federal grant funding programs, and commit to strengthening Canadian scientific and engineering communities to include the full participation of equity-seeking groups. 
  • Use best available scientific expertise to advance research and development for assessing climate change impact risks, with focus on mitigating the impacts such as storms, droughts, floods, wildfires and related air quality impacts on health.  
  • Develop transdisciplinary partnerships on climate innovation with governmental, non-profit, academic institutions and industry, and invest in research and the necessary equipment 
  •  Increase direct federal funding for private and student-led business R&D  
  • Invest in research and production of vaccines and therapeutics 

Student Affordability

What we're asking for:

CAUT is asking for a doubling of the value of student grants, for a balance of 50-50 grants and loans, and an end to federal interest on student loans. 

Liberal

  • Permanently eliminate the federal interest on Student Loans 
  • Increase the repayment assistance threshold to $50,000 for borrowers who are single 
  • Let new parents pause repayment loans until their youngest child is five 
  • Increase by 50% the maximum debt relief that family doctors, residents in family medicine, nurse practitioners, or nurses are eligible for the under Canada Student Loans forgiveness program. 

Conservative

None 

NDP

  • Move away from loans and permanently double non-repayable grants  
  • Cap tuition fees, make PSE part of public ed system, "so that kids can go from kindergarten to career without the barrier of cost" 
  • Stop federal interest on student loans 
  • Forgive up to $20k in student debt 

Bloc

None 

Green

  • Abolish post-secondary education tuition  
  • Cancel all federally held student loan debt 
  • Reintroduce a retroactive Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) until the pandemic is over.  
  • Ensure that international and recently graduated students are eligible for CESB 

Labour, employment and skills in the post-secondary education workforce

Liberal

  • Protect public post-secondary educational institutions from being subject to corporate restructuring. 
  • Expand the Canada Workers Benefit to support about 1 million additional Canadians in low-wage jobs 
  • Gig-workers: strengthen rights for workers employed by digital platforms so that they are entitled to job protections under the Canada Labour Code and establish new provisions in the Income Tax Act to ensure this work counts toward EI and CPP 
  • Double the Union Training and Innovation program to $50 million a year 
  • Create training and work opportunities for young people to assist SMEs in adopting new technology 
  • Require businesses supported through the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program to include wrap-around supports (e.g. transportation, computers, food, referral to counselling, housing, and legal support, support in finding child care, and mentoring or coaching) 
  • Launch a Clean Jobs Training Centre  
  • Train up to 50,000 new personal support workers 
  • Continue to deliver on $80 million investment to train workers for green jobs. 
  • Support career advancement, training, sponsorship, and educational opportunities for Black workers. 
  • EI reform: Introduce a new EI benefit for self-employed Canadians, delivered through the tax system, that would provide unemployment assistance comparable to EI and lasting for as much as 26 weeks; Establish an EI Career Insurance Benefit available to people who have worked continuously for the same employer for five or more years and are laid off when the business closes (kicks in after regular EI ends)  

Conservative

  • Create the Working Canadian Training Loan to provide low interest loans of up to $10,000 to people who want to upgrade their skills 
  • Double the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit for the next three years 
  • Create the Canada Job Training Fund to provide grants (including to apprenticeship training unions, post-secondary institutions) 
  • Creating a fund to incentivize educational institutions to  partner with women’s shelters to provide career training  
  • Reviving the Regular Officer Training Program (ROTP) at civilian universities to provide educational opportunities for youth serving their country 
  • “Will require gig economy companies to make contributions equivalent to CPP and EI premiums into a new, portable Employee Savings Account every time they pay their workers. The money will grow tax-free and can be withdrawn by the worker when needed." 

NDP

  • Defend the Rand Formula, protecting the collection of union dues 
  • Work with provinces and territories to ensure paid sick days  
  • Raise federal minimum wage to $20/hour 
  • Anti-scab (i.e., strike breaker) legislation  
  • Ban unpaid internships outside of education programs 
  • Expand training options beyond people who qualify for EI 
  • Expand options for workers in designated sectors and regions to take EI funded training in advance of losing a job  
  • EI payouts will be a minimum of $2,000/month  
  • Extend sickness benefit from 15 to 50 weeks 
  • Create a pilot project to allow workers with episodic illnesses and disabilities to access EI sickness benefits a day at a time, as they need them 
  • Require large employers to spend at least 1 percent of payroll on training for their employees annually.  

Bloc

  • Prohibiting the use of strike breakers  
  • Preventive leave with pay for expectant mothers 
  • Make pension funds priority creditor in the event of a company’s bankruptcy 
  • Comprehensive reform of EI to protect all workers and which will take into account the realities of self-employed or special-status workers, as well as seasonal work. 

Green

  • Increase the Canada Training Benefit  
  • Institute a Guaranteed Liveable Income  
  • Boost apprentice program opportunities, specifically in sustainability fields  
  • Establish a federal student minimum wage of $15 
  • Establish federal youth employment programs that would be active year-round  
  •  Introduce a Just Transition Act before the end of 2021 that takes care of workers and communities during transition towards a decarbonized economy  
  • Replace every high paying fossil fuel sector job with a high paying green sector job through wage insurance, retraining programs and early retirement plans.  
  •  Enact legislation on green jobs training programs, such as the creation of a youth climate corps 
  •  Promote entrepreneurship training and business support, especially for women, young, racialized and Indigenous entrepreneurs. 

Support for Indigenous post-secondary education

What we're asking for:

CAUT is asking $650 million a year to support closing the gap of Indigenous educational attainment.

Liberal

  • Indigenous communities to reclaim full jurisdiction of education (nothing specific to PSE) 
  • Implement Indigenous Languages Act 

Conservative

  • Support self-determined delivery of various programs including education (nothing specific to PSE) 
  • Support increased trades training for Indigenous youth 

NDP

  • “Support Indigenous youth and help them bridge the gap to post-secondary education through expanded financial assistance and increased educational opportunities for children who grew up in care, and distance education for rural and remote students.” 
  • Commit to the promotion and revitalization of Indigenous languages 

Bloc

  • Implement UNDRIP 
  • Measures to combat the labour shortage by working with Indigenous nations 

Green

  • Increase access to PSE by removing the two per cent cap on increases in education funding for Indigenous students, as well as fully funding the program backlog.  
  • Support and sustain the transmission, proliferation, and regeneration of Indigenous cultural works and languages. 

Francophone and minority language funding for post-secondary education

Liberal

  • Permanently increase funding for post-secondary institutions in official language minority communities to $80 million per year. 
  • Implement action plan on Official Languages 

Conservative

  • Create a new $30 million per year budgetary envelope to provide federal funding to minority francophone post-secondary institutions and participate significantly in their future financing, in collaboration with the provinces 

NDP

  • Work with the provinces and territories to improve minority language education 
  • Modernize the Official Languages Act to strengthen oversight and accountability, adopt the principle of asymmetry 

Bloc

No investments 

  • Would ensure the Charte de la language française québecoise applies across Québec (instead of Official Languages Act)  
  • Would work with Acadians and French canadians to ensure the review of the Official Languages Act prioritizes the ability of these communities to live and work in french 

« Luttera avec les Acadiens et les Franco- Canadiens pour s’assurer que la réforme de la Loi sur les langues officielles serve en toute priorité la capacité de ces communautés à vivre et travailler en français. » 

Green

  • Ensure permanent, stable funding for post-secondary educational institutions in minority language communities across Canada 

Other various notable commitments for PSE and CAUT members

Liberal

  • Create a new fund for student well-being to improve wait times and increase access to mental health care at colleges and universities (with dedicated support Indigenous PS institutions) 
  • Expand pathways to Permanent Residence for former international students  
  • Partner with post-secondary institutions and Indigenous organizations to accelerate the creation and growth of Indigenous clean technology businesses 
  • Include a specific target for the representation of Black Canadians in equity targets for federally funded scientific research delivered through the granting councils 
  • Provide funding of $30 million for Black Canadians in Canadian post-secondary institutions. 

Conservative

  • Implement the Heritage committee's  copyright recommendations i.e. roll back fair dealing for education 
  • “For years, Western Provinces have not received a proportional share of federal funding for university research and cultural programs. Canada’s Conservatives will end this bias against Western Provinces and ensure that all parts of our country are treated fairly” 

NDP

  • Require universities to develop plans to end sexual violence on campus 

Green

  • Implement the Heritage committee's  copyright recommendations i.e. roll back fair dealing for education 
  • Support Canadian enterprises engaging in technology transfer with post-secondary institutions.  
  • Support post-secondary institutions to welcome international students safely.  
  • Collaborate with accreditation institutions to recognize foreign training and education.  
  • Provide access to federally funded IP at a discount to Canadian companies with Canadian operations  
  • Provide funding for prevention, treatment, and research related to youth mental health  
  • Create an independent, non-partisan council to advise the government on the development and implementation of its climate change policies through a lens of environmental justice and eradicating environmental racism.  
  • Provide protection for Indigenous intellectual and artistic property rights.