Act 177

If you can, keep your grad out of debt

It’s Grad Day here in Salmon Arm. My facebook feed is filled with proud parents and happy young adults in fancy grown up dress.

We need to protect them from student debt. When I went away to school, we had two options. Pay for it or get an OSAP grant. Very few of us graduated with debt. Thank goodness because we graduated at the onset of an Ontario recession. Hence my life in BC – when we all went west to get away.

There were bursaries and scholarships, part time jobs that paid pretty well. We eeked out a living wage while still getting a decent education. We were lucky, as it turns out.

These days, we graduate post secondary students with record debt into a labour market with record high youth unemployment.

Education is not just a personal investment, it’s a community investment as well. An important one. More important (and affordable) than fighter jets and prisons. And that’s not a matter of opinion, as much as a matter of fact.

So protect them if you can. And give them a fighting chance. We’ll need them more than we know so let’s try and be there when they need us.



Act 129

Hire a student

Our students are graduating from post secondary programs with record levels of debt into a labour market with record high youth unemployment.

It’s not rocket science. It’s bassackward economics. We need to put our young people to work and we need them to know that they matter more to us that the piles of debt they collect and the interest it generates for our financial institutions and government student loan programs.

The accomplishment I’m most proud of in my work is the ability to work every day with three graduates from the local college. They inspire me to do my best and they help me earn my living. They are much better at what they do than I would be at doing it and it allows me to do what I am good at.

If you can, please hire a student to tutor your kids over the summer, to help you with a household project, to give you an extra hand at the office – whatever you can do. The world needs them for their brains, their enthusiasm, their outlook and their youth and us grown-ups need to do a better job of reminding them of that.