Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh recently visited the Northern College in the Timmins-James Bay riding with New Democrat MP and colleague Charlie Angus where he felt the need to express his desire for free tuition for all students.
At this college which is where a sizeable number for foreign students from India study, Singh held the microphone and gave shout-outs to different students and classes in both French and English. Realizing there were many Punjabi students, Singh began speaking in Punjabi who shouted back greetings in Punjabi.
Jagmeet Singh then went on to lament the high cost of post-secondary education and thought back to the time he went to law school in the early 2000s and pointed out that the cost of his tuition was $8,000 a year which he struggled to pay.
“That same law school now is $35,000 a year,” he said. Singh told the students there is no way he could afford that sort of tuition cost.
“I wouldn’t have been able to become a lawyer,” he said, adding that he had the support of his family and he was pleased for that.
“Don’t worry about me. I am just one person. Imagine all the young people right now in our country that dream of doing something, that have the passion to do something and can’t do it because they can’t afford the tuition,” he said.
Singh said too many young Canadians are “missing out” but he said because those people cannot reach their potential it means that our economy and the rest of the country is missing out on the knowledge and contribution that might have been.
He thinks Canada should have free tuition for all post-secondary students.
“We should have free tuition in Canada. That is possible. That is achievable,” said Singh.
Naturally such a pronouncement drew a round of applause from the students.
Such a program could end up costing taxpayers roughly $6 billion to $9 billion a year.
Singh said the current tuition fee of $35,000 annually for law school is no longer realistic or achievable for ordinary families.
“Do we want to continue down a path where only the wealthy will be able to afford to go to school, or do want to chart a path forward where everyone can pursue education and can pursue their dreams? I believe that’s what Canadians want,” said Singh.
Specialized post-graduate degrees like engineering, medicine etc. does cost a considerable amount of money, but many are skeptical if providing free tuition to students who may in all probability end up with great jobs and fabulous incomes is the right way to go about things. If free tuition ever becomes a thing, then perhaps all those who find great jobs should be obliged to pay it back or rather pay it forward. -CINEWS