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The Progressive Economics Forum

Discussing Quebec Student Protests on Talk Radio

Last Friday, I blogged here about the Quebec student protests.  Subsequently, I was invited to appear on 580 CFRA News Talk Radio, with hosts Rob Snow and Lowell Green.

I should note that Mr. Green is the author of several books, including:

-How the Granola Crunching, Tree Hugging Thug Huggers are Wrecking our Country;

Mayday Mayday. Curb Immigration. Stop Multiculturalism Or It’s The End Of The Canada We Know;

Here’s Proof Only We Conservatives Have Our Heads Screwed On Straight 

(Rest assured that Mr. Green is no more subtle on-air than when choosing titles for his books.)

You can listen to the 24-minute audio clip here.

Points I raised during the show include the following:

-Senior levels of government in Canada used to cover 80% of the operating grants of Canadian universities. Today, the figure is 50%.

-The percentage of Canadian post-secondary students who work during the academic year has doubled since the mid-1970s.

-Quebec has the lowest tuition fees in Canada. It also has substantially lower student debt than many other provinces. The average fourth-year undergraduate student in Quebec who holds student loans has $11,000 less student debt than their Ontario counterpart.

-Newfoundland and Labrador, which has invested substantially in post-secondary education in recent years (and now has tuition fees that are almost as low as in Quebec), is seeing positive outcomes.  In the late-1990s, 20,000 persons in Newfoundland and Labrador had student debt. Today, just 8,000 of them do.

-Two years ago, Leger Marketing conducted a major survey of Quebec university students; more than 12,000 undergraduates were surveyed. Findings include the fact that more than 50% of Quebec’s undergraduate students live on less than $12,000/yr. (this includes funding from all sources, including scholarships, government grants/loans and money from family); 40% of Quebec undergrads receive no financial assistance whatsoever from their family members; and more than half of full-time undergraduate students in Quebec receive no financial assistance whatsoever.

-I made two points about household debt as well.  First, it’s grown very significantly in Canada over the course of the past two decades. Second, those carrying  the most household debt are persons aged 25-44, precisely the group that also faces the largest amounts of student debt. Ergo: if we want to get household debt under control, increasing student debt levels is not going to help.

 

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Comments

Comment from The Analyst
Time: April 26, 2012, 7:53 pm

Damn, why can’t there be more progressive talk show hosts. I don’t think there’s any in Winnipeg outside of student stations.

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