Education and economic development

Someone pointed out to me that I should provide a link to my weekly column in the TJ. That’s a good idea – particularly when the column is meaty – as it is today.

I talk about the lack of Masters and Phds in the province. We have the second lowest ratio of advanced degrees to population in Canada and compared to certain provinces by a wide margin. Ontario has almost three times as many persons with advanced degrees in math, science and engineering as New Brunswick.

Obviously the reason for this is not supply of folks with Masters/Phds. It’s the demand. Our firms don’t need those technical skills and the ripple effect is felt in a wide variety of areas.

This just reaffirms the need to link education policy and economic development policy. You can have the best post-secondary education system in Canada but if it is just providing feedstock for the Ontario labour market, what’s the point?