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Letter: Cancelling tuition grant would hurt students

Wednesday, May 21, 2014   by: SooToday.com Staff

SooToday.com received the following letter from Mike McNeice
, Northern Regional Coordinator of the Ontario Young Liberals, in reponse to Tim Hudak's proposal to cancel the 30% off tuition grant.

*************************
We often hear about how apathetic young people are about anything other than our narrow, day-to-day self-interests. I disagree.

Many people my age (I’m 22 years old) are following closely decisions being debated by political parties on the issues that are important to them.

One such issue that directly impacts postsecondary students in Ontario is the 30% Off Tuition Grant.

The grant was created by the Liberal government in 2012 and now helps over 230,000 low- and middle-income students pay for their tuition each year.

How much?

Eligible students attending a university like Algoma received $1,730 this past year, and college students going to schools like Sault College received $790 to pay for their tuition.

That goes a long way towards helping students like me pay for school.

In fact, I recently heard Brad Duguid, the Minister responsible for Training, Colleges and Universities make the point that university students who receive the grant actually pay less in net tuition than students 10 years ago.

That’s why I was so alarmed when I heard that Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak is promising to cancel the grant if he becomes Premier. Cancelling the 30% Off Tuition Grant would be a huge step backwards for students planning to go to University or College in Ontario.

I would expect Mr. Hudak to be focusing on ways to make sure students have more access to a postsecondary education, not less.

As students, we keep hearing about how our economy requires a highly skilled workforce.

By cancelling this grant program, the Hudak PCs would increase costs for students and put the opportunity to learn and train for these good, high paying jobs out of reach for many young people across this province.

Tim Hudak’s plan to cancel such an important program for students is a definite step in the wrong direction.

To pledge your support to save the 30% Off Tuition Grant, check out this campaign: www.save30off.ca.

Regards,

Mike McNeice

Northern Regional Coordinator - Ontario Young Liberals

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Comments
11
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
kbaybiie 5/21/2014 6:46:26 PM Report

It's completely accurate... without the grant. Students will suffer...
little jerry 5/21/2014 7:00:40 PM Report

Very well written! I'm waiting for all the ignorant know-it-alls to respond.
PNBNLV 5/21/2014 8:15:33 PM Report

While I commend you on a very well written letter, I have serious misgivings about the content.

You state that, "By cancelling this grant program, the Hudak PCs would increase costs for students and put the opportunity to learn and train for these good, high paying jobs out of reach for many young people across this province.

Tim Hudak’s plan to cancel such an important program for students is a definite step in the wrong direction."

As a young liberal you would have had a very limited exposure to the effects of the numerous scandals, boondoggles, tax grabs and fiscal mismanagement that we elders have been plagued with since 2003.

I counter with the following....

We simply cannot afford any more fiscal mismanagement and scandals if we have any hope of leaving your generation with anything of substance.
Twistinwrenches 5/21/2014 10:12:00 PM Report

Borrow the money you need and pick something that will get you a good job so you can pay off your loan.
Me Myself an I 5/21/2014 10:14:04 PM Report

@PNBNLV So we should punish the people who have nothing to do with the current fiscal issues Ontario faces? What about the young NDP supporters, or young PC supporters. Should they be punished as well as they may not be aware of the Bob Rae or Mike Harris issues they had.

Just remember, years from now when you are collecting your Canada Pension, it will be the young of today working to pay for that. Also when you are living in that senior's home it will be the young of today trying to go to school in order get the jobs to care for you there.
sportsfan17 5/22/2014 6:43:00 AM Report

First of all, I support any legislation that makes access to post-secondary education easier for any and all students.

And maybe I'm way out in left field on this but.. isn't the 30% tuition grant a bit of a redundancy? Why not scrap it and just lower the tuition fees by that amount? It just seems like an extra layer of bureaucracy that could be eliminated.
streaker 5/22/2014 8:22:40 AM Report

sportsfan : you have that right .That would be the proper thing to do to save the students and taxpayers money!!!
D.Hasselhoff 5/22/2014 9:33:30 AM Report

Completely agree also with sportsfan. There's simply an easier way of doing it. I don't know who i'm voting for but this just seems like common sense. It sure would be nice to see sootoday play both sides of the fence though and not be so focused on painting a perfect picture of the liberal party. It's not fair to new voters who read your site loyally and I have lost a lot of respect for you as of late by these actions.
Slim Shady 5/22/2014 12:33:55 PM Report

@sportsfan17

I think that the reason your idea can’t be implemented is that Universities are privately run and they set the price for tuition, not the government.

The government used to have more extensive Grant programs in the 1980’s to encourage young people to get post secondary education. They were slashed to almost nothing by 1990 due to the recession and have never really recovered since. The Government replaced Grants (unlike loans, they don’t have to be paid back) with loans which they managed to make them accessible to students. Then they decided to get out of the loan business and let the Banks do it… Unfortunately banks don’t like lending students money due to the high default rate when students do not get jobs after graduating.

Having a Grant program for students does have merit. If they can be helped or encouraged to get better education and corresponding higher paid jobs, the more income tax revenue they will generate over the lifetime of the individual. The trouble is we are sending our well paid jobs to overseas companies and not investing in Canadians FIRST. It was a well written letter.

That being said if a student is determined and has what it takes, there is nothing to stop them from getting the education they are striving for – with or without grants. I funded my university education entirely on my own by working jobs and running my own small business. It isn’t easy but it can be done. Life is about sacrifice but the resulting rewards can be well worth it.


PNBNLV 5/22/2014 6:27:52 PM Report

To Me, Myself, I....

I am in no way saying we punish young people. I am saying that by voting Liberal we are condoning and accepting their mismanagement and we cannot afford it to continue.

I am also saying that whatever government is elected needs to put the ship in order before they spend on luxuries.

Basic fiscal management 101 states that we cannot spend what we don't have. Pay down our debt, reduce expenses and only when there is money in the bank do we invest in the future.

The current government has no business making promises they cannot afford. They are playing with our tax dollars; surely we can demand some accountability?
The Avenger 5/23/2014 11:50:44 AM Report

@PNBNLV

I have serious misgivings about the content of your original comment.

1. This article is about the grant. He may support the Liberal party, but it is not about the Liberal party. It is about the importance of education and his opinion on government supporting students. So, basically, your "counter" doesn't even address his main point.

2. It is absolutely disheartening to see a well-written and well thought out piece by a young person interested in politics be totally invalidated because of their age and experience. Keep the discussion to the content, don't target the author.

Of course, this is an open comment section. You can talk about whatever you want. But I thoroughly disagree with claiming that this article's main point is anything other than the importance of the grant, and seeking to save it, and then using a false platform to dissuade a young politician.

Signed,
The Avenger
Comments
11
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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