UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Federal government and education in Canada Andrews, Bruce Alfred


The role of the Federal Government in education in Canada has been a matter of increasing concern since the end of the Second World War. In the following pages an attempt has been made to ascertain the extent and significance of Federal participation in education from 1867 to 1970. The identification of these two dimensions, however, is largely dependent upon the concept applied to the term education and for the purposes of this inquiry education has been defined as an activity wherein instruction is given and/or learning takes place as part of a formal process in the context of a recognized educational institution. What this study demonstrates is that the Federal "presence' in education in Canada has dramatically, increased since 1945, to the point that by 1970 in financial terms alone it exceeded an annual expenditure of one billion dollars, and additionally, that the nature of the 'presence' has become increasingly complex and diffuse. It is also demonstrated that there has been a lack of visible coordination at the Federal level with respect to its educational functions and establishes a case for more effective coordination both within the Federal structure and; between the Federal Government and the provinces. The format of the document has largely been dictated by the nature of Federal educational programs. The first chapter has been devoted to a discussion of the constitutional position of the central government with respect to education. Succeeding chapters: then present a department by department description of Federal educational involvement. The last two chapters outline the chronological and legislative patterns that have evolved over the past century and the conclusions derived from the study. Since this inquiry has been primarily concerned with the Federal as opposed to provincial perspective, three areas of source material have provided the content, the Statutes of Canada, the Public Accounts and Auditor-General's Reports, and the annual reports of the several government departments concerned.

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