The Liberal finance critic at Queen’s Park is on a northern tour, examining the effects of spending cuts by the Conservative government on this region.

Mitzie Hunter was also education minister in the most recent Liberal government.  She says that reduced funding to schools has a negative impact on the effort to train more skilled tradespeople. Northern business and industry are suffering a severe shortage of such workers.

Hunter says larger high school classes mean fewer teachers and therefore fewer program options.

“We want more of our high school students to graduate and to move on to training and to post-secondary education in a college or university, not less options,” she claims. “This government just seems to be going in the wrong direction when it comes to education and investing in skills and talent.”

Hunter says when the Liberals were in power, the high school graduation rate increased, because students had more choice.

“By limiting their choice, you’re threatening the graduation rate and taking it backwards and it’s just not healthy for high school students.”

As opposition finance critic, Hunter says she can keep the government’s feet to the fire, pointing out the harm its moves are doing.