Premier McNeil and Liberals making post-secondary education unaffordable

The people of Nova Scotia are seeing a much different government then the one they thought they elected. The Liberal Government led by Premier Stephen McNeil is on the attack..

First organized labour, then the film industry, the blind, doctors, nurses, health care workers, public sector workers, women, women’s employment centers, education workers, teachers, children, seniors – now the Provincial Liberals have turned on university students.

Instead of being innovative, Premier McNeil is a leader who is leading his government on a mission of government cutting services and jobs the same old way. The rich get to rake it in with higher than ever corporate profits, the 1% get big pay hikes and bonuses and we all suffer and are told time and time again there is no money.

Taxpayers fund universities, whose top brass earn exorbitant salaries with seemingly no accountability.  Now we expect that more tuition fee hikes. In 2013/14, Nova Scotia had the 3rd highest domestic undergraduate tuition ($5,554) and the 2nd highest graduate student tuition ($5,966).

Meanwhile, on March 2nd, tuition at Saint Francis Xavier University is also going up.  The school’s board of governors has approved a tuition hike of 18 per cent over three years. Students currently pay $7,195 a year. That will rise to $7,626 in the fall, $8,083 in 2017 and $8,569 in 2018.

Ontario just announced that university and college tuition will soon be free for students from low-income families with incomes of $50,000 and more affordable for those from middle-class homes affecting some 375,000 post-secondary education of Ontario students. Beginning in its 2017-18 budget announcements affecting the school year, the government proposes to redirect 100 per cent of funding from existing grants into a new funding structure called the Ontario Student Grant (OSG).

Students from families who earn less than $50,000 annually will now receive more in grants and non-repayable loans than the cost of their tuition. The program changes will effectively make tuition cost-free for eligible students.

Premier McNeil needs to pay attention to what’s happening in other provinces that are moving forward instead of making life harder for Nova Scotians.