New Alberta government needs to reflect on what matters most for all families

Father and Daughter Looking at Laptop

This blog was written by Peter Lewis.  Peter is the Vice President at Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation and was active in securing the Alberta Centennial Education Savings grant  nearly a decade ago. 

With a new government poised to lead Alberta, it’s a good time for the newly elected premier to reflect on what matters most to families.  Is it education, health, financial well being, or all of the above?  Whatever it may be, last night’s election results showed Albertans wanted change.

As a company that has valued education for over 54 years and that has worked hard to advocate that all families have access to post-secondary education, we urge the new government to not lose sight of a promise that was made a decade ago to Alberta families.  That promise, made through the creation of the Alberta Centennial Education Savings program, was to; provide future generations of Albertans the opportunity to attend post-secondary studies with government support.  

When news of the grant’s cancellation hit, we were extremely disappointed. I spoke to several news organizations including Global News and the Edmonton Journal following the announcement of the 2015 Alberta budget to express our concerns on behalf of Alberta families.

What was painfully obvious based on the reaction and comments the stories received from ordinary Albertans was that this move was made without thinking through what was best for average families hoping for a better and brighter future for their children. 

AB Blog

To the new party that has been elected, take the time to reflect on what matter most for families.  When federal government statistics show that the number of Alberta children with RESPs had climbed by 158 per cent since the grant was implemented - and that Alberta had the third highest education savings participation rate in the country behind Ontario and B.C. all without any large marketing efforts from the province - it’s hard to argue that the program wasn’t working.

Reminder:  Alberta families have a very limited time (until July 31, 2015) to apply for the Alberta Centennial Education Savings grant and collect $500 from the government before the grant is discontinued.