We had the opportunity to meet with several of Alberta’s politicians this week as the Alberta Legislature got down to business for the fall session. Advocating directly to Alberta’s elected officials is a big part of what we do, and working with MLAs from all four parties is an important priority for CAUS this year. We focused on our five priorities this year with MLAs, looking at:

  • Removing barriers to student voting
  • Restoring the provincial tuition cap
  • Regulating mandatory non-instructional fees
  • Increasing post-secondary participation among rural and aboriginal Albertans
  • Eliminating property taxes on residences
There was good feedback on all of our priorities, in particular looking at the issue of ordinary residency of students when it comes to provincial elections. This is an issue we have been working on since 2009 and we are hopeful to see some reform before the 2016 provincial election.

We had the opportunity to meet up with the Enterprise and Advanced Education Minister, the Honourable Stephen Khan who also was kind enough to invite us to question period and introduce us to the Legislature. In our meeting we talked about all five of our priorities and worked to see where there was common ground from the position of our students and the needs of the government and our institutions. We also talked about the upcoming conference on the future of post-secondary education – February 21 and 22, 2013 – and he seems just as excited about the conference as we are.

It is important that we not just meet with governing Progressive Conservatives, but maintain ties with all of the parties. Maintaining our non-partisan position as well as taking advantage of the opportunities that come with having advocates on both sides of the aisle is vital to achieving the goals of our students.