I am writing in response to NDP MHA Dale Kirby's June 5 letter concerning College of the North Atlantic (CNA).
In today's global community, education is vital for success and our government remains committed to accessibility, affordability and effectiveness so that students have the knowledge and skills they require to be the leaders of tomorrow.
Since 2004, this government has invested $604 million to make our post-secondary education system a model for the rest of Canada to follow.
In 2013, CNA tuition fees are approximately 49 per cent lower than the national average.
For undergraduates at Memorial University, tuition fees are 53 per cent lower.
Mr. Kirby talks of "reducing opportunities" for training, when opportunities are increasing like never before.
He seems opposed to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians receiving the appropriate education to seize opportunities and secure access to the skilled trades jobs that are on the horizon, thanks in large part to major project developments such as Muskrat Falls and Hebron.
This in an unprecedented time of opportunity for Newfoundland and Labrador. The markers for prosperity are all around us.
More of us are working than ever before, and still there is a growing demand for skilled labour that we want to meet - to the greatest extent possible - by the people of this province.
As a primary provider of post- secondary education throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, CNA will help to ensure women and men are prepared for the growing demand for skilled work.
That is why the delivery of programming at CNA is evolving so that the college is more responsive to this increasing labour demand.
Evaluation of the effectiveness and efficiency of all programs delivered by CNA is an ongoing process and the college is expanding offerings and introducing programs at campuses throughout the province that meet new and emerging regional and provincial labour force needs.
Education is a primary path to employment and prosperity.
With a looming skilled worker shortage and the need for an educated workforce at an all-time high, this government is continuing to make post- secondary education a high priority.
Unlike Mr. Kirby's approach, our plan is one that is responsive to the changing needs of the public.
Minister of Advanced Education and Skills