B.C. government puts students in crosshairs

Proposal would deny driver’s licence to those who default on student loans

Governments and parties of all political stripes have long recognized that a well-trained workforce is the key to economic prosperity – for the country, the province and for individual Canadians.

While that sentiment may appear obvious to even the most casual observer, the B.C. Liberal government apparently hasn’t learned that lesson.

A new proposal was announced last week that would deny driver’s licences to those who are in default on their student loans.

“Denying a driver’s licence to young people struggling to pay back their loans is sure to cost jobs, resulting in more defaults, not fewer,” said Zachary Crispin, B.C. chair of the Canadian Federation of Students.

There’s certainly more that could be done to encourage the repayment of student loans. But those actions must be coupled with measures to relieve students straining  under a mountain of debt.

The move comes following years of criticism that the province isn’t doing enough to make post-secondary education affordable. B.C. charges the highest rate of interest on student loans of any province. And instead of providing students with ways to get out from under that debt, the provincial government is putting up obstacles that will limit their opportunities to get work upon graduation.

The proposal from Finance Minister Mike de Jong comes on the heels of B.C. Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson reporting that 70 per cent of students graduate without debt. However, the government’s own surveys show that 49 per cent of students are faced with debt upon graduation.

When the minister responsible for advanced education is unaware of the challenges faced by those trying to get an education, it’s little wonder post-secondary students concerns continue to fall on deaf ears. Maybe someone needs to ask the minister to stay after class.

It’s almost enough to make you laugh, before you realize that these are the same people responsible for devising the policies that will punish B.C. students for years to come.

 

Just Posted

Shaving minutes off commutes among the goals for Victoria bus lanes

Work on southbound Douglas Street lane between Tolmie and Hillside getting underway

Backyard of $2.2M Uplands property bulldozed for BMX jump track

34-year-old financial advisor fulfills childhood dream

VicPD nab distracted driver with expired licence

On the phone while in motion, man had overdue fines from driving while impaired

Gallery: Turnout good for Oak Bay’s inaugural volunteer fare

Oak Bay showcased non-profits and more with inaugural volunteer fair

Vic-Alert faces tidal wave of registration after tsunami warnings

City of Victoria system is free and provides early warnings of disaster

Mature Garry Oak falls on Beach Drive

150-year-old tree blocks access in front of Oak Bay Beach Hotel

Castlegar homicide victim identified

The victim was 38-year-old Jordan Workman of Castlegar, B.C.

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates get one last prime-time pitch

Leadership campaign to be decided in Feb. 3 vote

How high is safe from a tsunami? Four metres above sea level

Be disaster ready with food, water and clothing for seven days

Victoria Film Festival set for triumphant return to the big screen

Two decades on, diverse film lineups keep movie-goers coming to the box office

Victoria’s most wanted for the week of Jan. 23

Crime Stoppers will pay a reward of up to $2,000 for information that leads to arrests or the seizure of property or drug

Andrew Scheer on trade, Trump and Trudeau

Canada’s Conservative leader begins three-day visit to B.C.

Bell Canada alert prompts RCMP, privacy watchdog to probe data breach

Company spokesman: ‘Fewer than 100,000 customers were affected’

Victims restrained, sex toys and cash stolen from B.C. adult store

Armed suspects sought in adult store robbery

Most Read