Belinda on Canadian Competitiveness

belinda1.jpgThis is not great news for the Liberal party, but it is surely wonderful news for Magna Int. Corp. Belinda Stronach is leaving politics to return to her father’s company. I admire her spirit and courage and I do not believe it was easy to cross the floor and join the opposition. It’s pretty tough being both a woman and a politician; the air is often thick with poisonous slurs. I don’t believe she has been treated well (hat tip to Sir Robert Bond Papers) and I still get ticked thinking about Mackay’s dog comment and his refusal to apologize for it. She put herself out there to work on behalf of her constituents and I think that takes a lot of guts.

I bookmarked this CanWest Stronach article yesterday and I had planned to post on it tonight anyways.

The core of being competitive is education and learning, which includes skills training, or what economists call the creation of human capital. In a self-sustaining cycle, national prosperity allows maintenance of a world-class postsecondary education system, which in turn provides the competitive advantage to create jobs and safeguard prosperity. The quarterback of this success cycle must be a national government that sets education as a priority on par with health care.

Then I then found this article at the CanWest Financial Post (FP) criticizing her article.

Does that mean she wants to make it bureaucratic, inefficient and poor value for money? But hang on. Public education is all of those things already.

I think the FP is taking her statement and trying to apply it to all levels of education when she specifically refers to “post-secondary education”. If the FP is saying our Universities are providing a poor education to Canadians, I am not sure I would agree with this analysis. However, I would not hesitate to complain about the high tuition fees for a quality University education, but that is another post.

I agree with Stronach that quality child/adult education is key to our continued competitiveness in a globalized economy; but I also believe the FP’s sarcastic rhetorical question is founded on some legitimate concerns. If we are going to provide funding for quality education on par with health care, then bureaucracies should be streamlined and integrated for maximum effectiveness. We need to ensure that the majority of our education tax dollars are going to the front lines where they are most needed; early learning, K-12 and post-secondary classrooms.

You can view this National Post timeline on Ms. Stronach’s career here.

May your new endeavors bring you joy and happiness Belinda.


8 thoughts on “Belinda on Canadian Competitiveness

  1. John McCreath says:

    “I admire her spirit and courage and I do not believe it was easy to cross the floor and join the opposition.”

    You do realize that she crossed the floor to join the governement, right? She joined not out of personal conviction, but instead to get a Ministers post.

  2. Amanda says:

    Great post… Great to find another woman talking about female politicians and the struggles that they face. I spent the morning writing two posts about how women’s accomplishments are often denigrated and how there is such an emphasis on their appearance within politics. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter… you can check out my posts at

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