I was pretty disappointed to see this:
Ottawa poised to axe scholarships
Esteemed Fulbright program at risk
Tory senator calls decision `calamitous’
Jul. 28, 2006.
NATIONAL AFFAIRS WRITER
OTTAWA—The Harper government is poised to cancel federal funding for Canadian international academic programs, including Canadian participation in the Fulbright program, one of the most prestigious international scholarships.
The Treasury Board issued a decision on June 21 saying that instead of extending funding for academic relations at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade for five years, it would do it for only one.
This means that $13.5 million in funding for international academic relations programs will expire on June 21, 2007.
Programs at risk include: $5 million for Commonwealth Scholarships; $600,000 for the Fulbright Foundation; support for the Canada-China Scholars Exchange Program; a program encouraging Mexican students to study in Canada; and all funding for Canadian studies programs abroad.
Treasury Board officials would not comment yesterday on the reasons for the decision.
However, Treasury Board President John Baird, a former Ontario cabinet minister, has in the past stressed the importance of keeping the federal government out of areas of provincial responsibility, and education falls under provincial jurisdiction.
Stengthening Canada’s international position will take much more than simply increased Canadian Forces funding and hard stances taken on controversial world issues, it’s also about reaching out and exchanging ideas, understandings, and personal experiences on an individual and academic level.
If Stephen Harper’s Conservative government truly wants to strengthen Canada’s position abroad, important public diplomacy and academic programs such as study-abroad and the Fullbright Scholarship are key.