Cavanagh challenges funding cut to Literacy Nova Scotia

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TRURO - The loss of federal funding will have a major impact on essential literacy skills in the province, says the board chair of Truro-based Literacy Nova Scotia.

"This is a bad situation, and it's just the beginning," Danny Cavanagh said of the funding cut announced last week. "Nova Scotians who need help to further their literacy and essential skills will not have anywhere to turn to get that help."

The Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES) cut $200,000 in funding to Literacy Nova Scotia, which provides training and support to 20 literacy groups around the province.

"Last May, we put in our application with the understanding we would hear back in a reasonable amount of time," Cavanagh said. "A year later, after many attempts to get a decision with various conflicting responses from OLES, we were told we will not receive funding, and we still haven't heard anything about receiving transitional funds."

Cavanagh said he would be contacting local MPs Scott Armstrong and Peter McKay to ask for their support in receiving funding.

Meanwhile, the Opposition New Democrats are calling on the Liberals to provide funding to the organization.

"Given the amount of money in question, and the important role Literacy Nova Scotia plays in our province, it's perfectly reasonable to ask the province to replace this funding," said Frank Corbett, MLA for Cape Breton Centre. "The organization plays a crucial role in helping people acquire necessary skills to find work. In the big picture, the impact of the closure of Literacy Nova Scotia on the province's bottom line will be much greater than $200,000."


Organizations: Office of Literacy and Essential Skills, Cape Breton Centre

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Recent comments

  • Lesley Dunn, The Dartmouth Learning Network
    May 22, 2014 - 20:45

    Funding cuts to literacy are short-sighted. Not one penny will be saved. It takes money to maintain low literacy rates creating a burden on the economy for generations to come. Literacy is more than just reading, writing and mathematics. While those are certainly basic skills, literacy also includes critical thinking, document use, computer use, oral communication skills, working with others and continuous learning all skills necessary for attachment to the labour market in a knowledge-based economy. When we invest in getting people off the social welfare system, or help people transition for low paying jobs into higher paying more stable employment opportunities, we are investing in Canada's future. Canada is one of the few 1st world countries that does not have a national framework for literacy and learning. The time has come to make that a priority!