Minister's student debt comments are misguided
VANCOUVER, July 8, 2011 /CNW/ - Students across BC were surprised to learn that Advanced Education Minister Naomi Yamamoto sees nothing wrong with record student debt caused by her government's tuition fee policies. In an interview with the Kelowna Capital News, the Minister said that student debt was "good debt to assume".
"As a result of her government's policies, student debt in BC has never been higher," said Zach Crispin, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-BC. "We don't need more spin-doctors in government, we need leadership that will make college and university more affordable."
In an interview this week the Minister attributed the rosy sentiment about the state of BC's universities and colleges in part to what she was hearing from students as part of her extensive provincial tour.
"I heard a very different version of what was discussed from students who met with Minister Yamamoto," said Crispin. "Reducing student debt was a dominant theme. It would be nice to have that acknowledged by the Minister."
In March, the Minister's office responded to a large rally of students at the Legislature by suggesting that students should drink less coffee and use the savings to pay for tuition fee increases.
At an average of $27,000 plus compound interest, student debt is at an all-time high in British Columbia. The Canadian Federation of Students-BC is calling on the government to reduce tuition fees, re-establish a student aid program, reduce student loan interest rates, and improve the quality of universities and colleges in BC by increasing funding.
The Canadian Federation of Students-BC is composed of 150,000 students from 17 university and college students' unions. Post-secondary students in Canada have been represented by the Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organisations since 1927.For further information:
Zach Crispin, Chairperson at 604-733-1880
Ian Boyko, Research and Communications Officer at 778-686-7939