EDMONTON –Following news that the PCs intend to balance the budget on the backs of students by lifting Alberta’s tuition cap, NDP Leader Rachel Notley questioned why the Premier’s position on tuition fees has changed.
“When Mr. Prentice ran for leadership of the federal Progressive Conservatives in 2003, one of his major platform planks was tuition-free university and college for students,” said Notley. “Today as Premier, he wants to balance the budget on the backs of students. I’d like to know what changed.”
“The primary reason is to invest in Canada’s future, because it’s clear that in the knowledge economy of tomorrow what will make an economy like Canada’s competitive is a well-educated workforce that’s on the cutting edge,” said Prentice as rationale for his 2003 policy.
“I’d like to ask the Premier what has changed since 2003 – are we no longer in a knowledge economy? Do we no longer need a well-educated workforce to be competitive?” said Notley.
Prentice’s plan was widely reported in 2003, in provincial and national news. Prentice also released a policy statement on the subject titled, “Investing in the Next Generation of Leadership”.
“As recently as last fall, Prentice said he would reverse the cuts to post-secondary made by Premier Redford. Now, he’s planning to add to those cuts instead. Can we really trust Prentice’s promises?” asked Notley.
Alberta’s NDP will ensure that post-secondary institutions receive the stable and predictable funding they need to provide the affordable and accessible education Albertans need to diversify our economy and build greater opportunities for all Albertans.