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Election 2021

Where I stand on postsecondary education

A voter sent me this question:

What is your view on post secondary education? How will you support students and faculty? I’ve already seen the effects of budget cuts, and the semester hasn’t even started yet! I understand you spent some time at the U of L, so I’m curious if you will honor that in your campaign! Thanks!

Here was my response

There’s not a whole lot I can do as an independent MP, especially given that postsecondary is provincial jurisdiction, but what I would like to see is tuition-free education and complete student loan forgiveness. I would support whatever motions came to the floor of the House that would get us closer to either of those two things.

According to the Canadian Federation of Students, in the last 20 years, tuition fees have more than tripled, public funding for post-secondary has dropped below 50%, and total public student debt in Canada is $36 billion.

The U of L has experienced years of zero-percent budget increases. I was laid off from the U of L in 2010 because of one of those budget freezes. And now the U of L is experiencing budget CUTS. I am philosophically opposed to continuous budget freezes and cuts just so governments can make up for their budget cuts for corporations.

We must fund postsecondary properly.

There is a ULSU debate next month. I fully plan to mention that I spent 12 years either living, studying, or working at the U of L. The university has a special place in my heart.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention that the Lethbridge College, where I got my multimedia production diploma, is also dear to me.

Lethbridge recognizes the benefits of having to stellar postsecondary institutions in our community. Other levels of government should, too.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news stories, focusing on politics and labour.

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