Students, vote with your ballot not your feet

Statistics Canada just released their tuition fee data for Canadian provinces today.

I know this stuff is getting to be old hat for you but here goes anyway.

New Brunswick has the second highest undergraduate tuition fees in Canada (a bit of a far cry from the free university in Ireland and the UK) and when you adjust for the wage differential with the rest of Canada the impact is considerably worse.

Now, in current dollars, the trends are interesting. From 1991 to 2006, the growth in tuition rates in New Brunswick was below the national average.

But from 2002 to 2006, the growth rate was second highest in the country and this year also the second highest growth rate in tuition fees in the county.

But, the government, we are told loves students and wants to do everything it can to encourage kids to attend university.

Everything, it seems, except keep a lid on tuition fees.

Face it, the Tories are targeting voters – in a very deliberate way.

University students don’t vote (2 out of 3) and 40% leave the province after election anyway. And of the 33% that actually vote, the majority vote NDP.

So they are not foremost in the mind of any politician save maybe Brad Green or some other local politician in Freddy Beach.

Given Premier Lord and Shawn Graham’s strategic vote gathering approach, students would be well-advised to a) vote, b) vote for Lord (or Graham depending on which one shows interest) and c) tell Lord/Graham about it.

If the UNB student union endorsed a resolution calling Lord the greatest Premier since Confederation and guaranteed him 10,000 votes, maybe tuition rates would at least come down to the national average.

I am not sure that Graham need the ego stroking that Lord does but politicans are politicians so it couldn’t hurt.