A group of NDP members will be pushing a resolution in support of free tuition at the upcoming NDP federal convention on February 16-18th. The resolution has been formally endorsed by 33 NDP district associations and youth clubs, more than any other resolution proposed to the convention and is sure to be a major point of debate at the convention.
“Free tuition is an idea whose time has come,” says John Hutton, an NDP member living in the Montreal riding of Hochelaga. “With 70% of new jobs requiring some form of higher education, it’s becoming more and more necessary for young people. But it’s never been more expensive either- students collectively owe the federal government $28 billion in loans. Huge student debt loads are holding people back at crucial points in their lives, and that has to end.”
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh endorsed free tuition during his leadership campaign, calling for a $14.9 billion federal transfer to the provinces to help them eliminate tuition fees. The policy was also endorsed by candidates Niki Ashton and Peter Julian during the contest. The existing NDP policy calls for the creation of a federal Post-Secondary Education Act to re-establish a federal education transfer, which would be used to reduce tuition fees. The proposed resolution would strengthen the policy to call for a full elimination of fees and make Singh’s campaign promise into official party policy. Eliminating tuition fees is estimated to cost $10.2 billion.
The resolution would also make it NDP policy to support lifting the cap and investing funds to help close the indigenous education gap. Financial aid for Indigenous students has been limited by a 2% cap since 1996, creating a backlog of more than 18,500 students who’ve been denied funding.
“Education is a public good in the public interest and should be free for all, regardless of ability to pay. While Canada loses as much as $15 billion per year to offshore tax havens, a generation of students is being bankrupted,” says Hutton. “We need the NDP to show the leadership for students that Justin Trudeau refuses to, and finally make education free for all Canadians.”
For more information or to set up an interview, please contact John Hutton at 438-395-1127
NDP to Debate Free Tuition / NPD debattra la gratuité scolaire
Source: HR.com Articles