CASA responds to HRDC excuses

Editors, the Gauntlet,

Re: “Students lobby Parliament” Oct. 28, 1999

I am writing this letter regarding Human Resources and Development Canada spokesperson Brigette Nolet’s comments.

Ms. Nolet’s comments regarding casa’s request to meet with HRDC Minister Jane Stewart leave out some very important facts. casa head office frequently called Minister Stewart’s office for two and a half months, attempting to schedule a meeting. We also sent a considerable amount of information regarding the “Education Builds a Nation Campaign” to Minister Stewart’s office We were assured by Minister Stewart’s office that a meeting with casa was a “high priority” and that we would be contacted soon. No alternate dates were proposed and no concern regarding a conflict in Minister Stewart’s schedule was mentioned until Thurs., Oct. 14. casa received an e-mail from Minister Stewart’s office stating that she would not be able to meet with the members of casa due to a conflict in her schedule. We would have been more than happy to accommodate her schedule if we had been given the opportunity to do so.

In closing, I think it is important to mention that Paul Martin, Herb Gray, the finance critics from three major opposition parties, representatives from the Royal Bank and CIBC, along with 100 Members of Parliament were able to make time in their busy schedules to discuss issues that affect students across Canada. It is very unfortunate that Jane Stewart, Minister of Human Resources and Development Canada, could not make time for students as well.

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