Canada cannot afford free post-secondary education — NDP’s election promise

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Canada is more than one trillion dollars in debt.

That’s over $28,000 per Canadian and steadily growing with interest on top of the Liberal government’s reckless spending.

Yet, if elected Prime Minister of Canada, the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh wants to forgive up to $20,000 in debt for those with student loans. They are also looking to eliminate student loan interest and make post-secondary education free.

There are some conditions however like for instance, households earning more than $60,000 the debt forgiveness would be reduced by 50 cents per every dollar over $60,000 a Canadian makes. Those making more than $100,000 wouldn’t be able to benefit from the program.

The program would give those with a student loan a five-year grace period before they would have to start making payments — this differs from the current grace period of six months.

I get the appeal — I do. But we as Canadian’s are already in deep waters as it relates to the national debt. The “we took on the debt so Canadian’s won’t have to” debt. But it doesn’t work like that and people need to get it through their heads.

Inflation is rising, taxes like the carbon tax have been added, the price to heat your home has gone through the roof in some provinces and yet people like Singh think it’s a good idea (if elected prime minister) to suddenly forgive what could cost Canadians upwards to $6 billion per year (as inflation and tuition rise), according to Moshe Lander, an economist at Concordia University, as stated in The Star’s article from Saturday.

It is believed that Trudeau will call a spring election.

An NDP spokesperson told them the program would cost an estimated $4 billion the first year and $1.5 billion each year following — but I’ll trust the economist on this one.

Lander also stated in the article that the move could cause the government to cut spending elsewhere to make up for the cost of the program. Not just that — the NPD could “impoverish post-secondary institutions.”

An excerpt from The Star reads;

“Lander said the party’s policies, taken together, threaten to impoverish post-secondary institutions and drive the best professors elsewhere. “This is just the basic idea that whenever something is free, you get what you pay for,” he said.”

So free education means a worse education — and from a college graduate’s perspective — it’s a terrible idea.

I attended Conestoga College for Multimedia Journalism and I can say I’ve had professors who I barely learned a thing from — now this may depend on the person, but overall I’ve had both great and terrible learning experiences from my professors.

I’d rather pay for a good education than receive a “free” or discounted mediocre one.

Again, I get the appeal — I do. If I could have my $10,000 in student loans wiped away I would. But I also wouldn’t feel right doing so to the taxpayer’s dime especially considering the current economic climate.

I made the decision to take on this debt at the young age of 17/18 — and I wish I hadn’t taken as much as I did — but I made that decision and I will pay it back.

We live in a society today where people think it’s a great idea to make things “free,” when in reality it’s not. Free education, free healthcare, free medicine, free this, free that.

Young people in this day and age expect handouts, they don’t know what it’s like to work for something. Maybe it’s just my country boy mentality but I believe it’s right to work for what you have.

Not everyone is born into a life with a silver spoon in their mouth — I get that. Without the OSAP program, I’d be in a much greater amount of debt. But since I fell under a certain income level, my tuition was paid for.

That is where we should leave it — give those without the financial means to pursue an education a chance — don’t saddle every Canadian with student debt just because we can or just because they want to run another trial at socialism that would bankrupt Canada even further.

Mark my words, but the NPD is far worse than the Liberals — they would spend more than the Liberals in a heartbeat — it’s the platform of the ND—frees (NDP’s).

Unfortunately — they are appealing to younger voters at all costs — a demographic (18-37) that would have consisted of 37 per cent of the electoral vote last election if they had all voted.

According to data by the Parliament of Canada, young people haven’t historically used their power to the full capacity.

From 1980 to 2015, Canada’s youngest voters turned out for federal elections in much smaller capacities when compared to other age groups.

So maybe we are safe for now — but I guess we’ll see in a potential spring election.

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