Premier Kathleen Wynne has announced grants that will cover tuition costs for post-secondary students coming from middle to low income families. It had not dawned on me that I supported Premier Wynne until realizing this is the second article I’ve written supporting her policy change. Yes, it seems Canada is making a return to a former glory that has not been recognized since Chretien was in office. However, despite any polarizing feelings towards the new policy, it is important to understand how it will affect Brantford.
There are some major factors that should be taken into consideration. These include changes in population demographics, availability of jobs and the willingness of people to learn. Even if someone is getting a university education for free are they going to want to spend it in Brantford? As it stands the unemployment rate in Brantford is at six percent. This has been reflecting a downwards trend in the past years but it’s not possible to tell whether free tuition will help or hinder this figure. For one, most research indicates people with post-secondary education generally earn more. However, Tom Lindsay, from Forbes would argue a different point. In his view, the university experience is obsolete. Four years of class work is absurd and ridiculous. Liberal education is important, but the quality of education has become so diluted that most of what we are learning in university should have been taught in high school. On the other hand, free education might act like a relief on some economic strains.
Most countries will look to Germany for the standard of economic benefits associated to offering free tuition. After all, less student debt means more money in our pocket which means we’re free to blow it elsewhere. In my opinion, our little town will be better off. With a family average income of thirty-three thousand a year, a lot of Brantford students may now have a chance in an area they otherwise might not have. Can you imagine if Wayne Gretzky never played hockey because his parents could not afford the athletic fees? The only people in trouble are going to be those who’ve piggy backed off their parent’s success. With more people coming to school we can expect a higher degree of competition. Now the “good” jobs might actually go to the people who deserve them as opposed to the people who can afford them.