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Roll out the red carpet:

January 5, 2009

From “New Brunswick’s education error: Spending limited resources helping rich students as much as poor,” Joey Coleman, (Jan. 5/09):

This year’s award for Worst Spin by a Politician in a Post-secondary Performance goes to …. insert drumroll… Premier Shawn Graham of New Brunswick! According to a front page story in last Wednesday’s Times & Transcript, the province’s Liberal government is considering scrapping a planned universal $2,000 grant for first-year N.B. university students.

The grant was a campaign promise …

The fact the government is giving post-secondary education a hard look as it searches for ways to save money isn’t a surprise, nor is it a scandal. What is shocking, however, is the complete ignorance shown by the Premier in addressing the file and his lack of understanding of how to effectively spend public funds in order to improve access to education.…

New Brunswick’s student unions are calling on the Premier to aim that money towards those who need it most by creating a debt cap in the province.…

The claim by Graham that New Brunswick would be the only province with such a cap is incorrect. Actually, using this as a measure, New Brunswick is lagging behind the other provinces.

Saying his government can’t afford to provide targeted support to students is incorrect as well. It’s not that he can’t do it, it’s that he prefers to provide the same levels of support to all students—from the richest to the most-needy—by freezing tuition and providing tax credits.…

This is another example of what’s wrong with post-secondary education politics in this country. Instead of good public policy, politicians try to win votes and get photo-ops from money that should be spent improving access.

  1. Debra Lindsay permalink
    January 6, 2009 11:40 am

    Don’t you just hate it when you’re right? Our disgraceful situation in post-secondary education is now getting national coverage… don’t you just hate it when what passes for policy is the target of ridicule by the magazine that ranks universities? That can’t be good.


  1. So… the Liberals see universal access as everyone paying the same high tuition « Living in interesting times

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