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Does the government do enough (e.g., Lifelong Learning Plan, Registered Education Savings Plan) to support post-secondary education in Canada?

Comments

In British Columbia post secondary education encompasses all of what used to be called ‘the trades’: carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, computer programming, glazing, auto mechanics, large vehicle mechanics and so on.  It also encompasses training doctors, dentists, nurses and all of the medical trade workers, lawyers, optometrists and many other ‘professions’. 
Consequently dismissing assistance of any form for post secondary work is ridiculous. 
What should be done, however, is that there should be tax credit assistance and subsidies for anyone wishing to pursue a higher education based on either their present income or their family’s income.  Perhaps it could be based on a scale of a base for completion and then performance in that completion based on the marks the person obtained in all courses.
Those who do well in their courses are more likely to have higher incomes and therefor would pay back more in their taxes, federal and provincial, to repay any of those subsidies.

By Don on September 20, 2017

The question is somewhat biased because it assumes that the government should support post-secondary education. Provincial governments provide “free” education for up to 13-15 years depending on where you live. Some governments also provide some financial incentives. Governments realized that a person needs to be educated in order to function in society….hence, “free” public education. Governments were not educating people just so they could get a good job 15 years later. In fact, until the 1950s to 60s, many people left school long before ever graduating from high school. In the late 50’s, early 60s, some people started to recognize that to get a better job and to be ahead of society that perhaps post-secondary education was their ticket to success. So ,even though, universities professed (and continue to profess) that they are there to provide a higher education, students have traditionally viewed a university education as their path to a better life.  Some professions, however, have demanded a university education. So, in fact to be a lawyer, a teacher, a doctor, a dentist, an engineer etc one has to have the diploma. This really does beg the question of whether these faculties should even be part of a university system that professes to provide a more well-rounded education than what the public school system provides, since they are there for the main purpose of educating people for employment in the various professions. Fifty years ago some students were willing to pay for their higher education in order to “better themselves”. However, most employers these days require a potential employee to have a specialized university degree that fits their particular industry. So there’s your answer. It is not governments that should do more to finance post-secondary education…it should be the employers or industry associations who demand the specialized degrees.

By Brian on September 13, 2017

They have in fact reduced their supports for post secondary education, in my opinion, by removing the tax credits for Education Amount and Textbook Amount.  These were quite generous, and I think should be reinstated.  As well, I think the cap of $5,000 transfer of tuition credits per student to a supporting parent should be eliminated, as usually the parents are the ones working and contributing to their kids’ education.

By Tim Kalsbeek on September 09, 2017

You should be involved with stopping these new taxes, right now.  If these changes happen you will lose a lot of small business clients.  Liberals are not open for business.

By JAMES SHEARS on September 07, 2017

Sadly, no.  Post-secondary education has become far too expensive. Most Bachelor programs are filled with so much useless education unless you are planning to continue on to become a professor - rather self-serving if you ask me.
With most families struggling to cover all their bills month to month, there is far too often not enough left for retirement savings or debt reduction, let alone saving for the children’s post high school education.
The government should focus more on reducing the costs of these institutions rather than increasing RESP limits.

By Ron on September 06, 2017

Sadly, education has become a luxury and not a necessity for most young people in Canada.
The question raises another issue for me and that is: Is education a Federal responsibility or a Provincial responsibility. We have come to believe it is Federal in nature, since we are constantly asking the Federal Government to provide more subsidy to education.
However, each province has the ability to contribute tax credits, tuition forgiveness, and Savings Plans that might assist people to attend post-secondary studies.
In British Columbia, for example, we just recently had a policy passed where Adult Education and Tuition is free for all persons in a Care and End of Care age range, as well as for those less fortunate than most, drawing on Social Benefits.
Since we live under a graduated tax cost base, I agree with Ken, a graduated tax credit system would be a better way to go.
Short of recognizing that post-secondary education is essential, and therefore needs to be affordable to all, we are faced with piecemeal opportunities.

By Sandra Gibbs on September 06, 2017

Having children is bringing responsibility for parents to support them and educate them as well. Children are not the numbers to collect monetary benefits for them,  as a lot of parents think. I don’t think is a good idea to let someone else to pay for your own children (taxes belong to me, you, and other people collectively). Unfortunately too many people like all sorts of free bees, but who should pay for that? Me, unfortunately I have my own bills to pay.

By krystyna on September 06, 2017

Whether we’re talking Federal or Provincial governments, I’m sure there much that could still be done to support post-secondary education.  Especially now with the education & textbook credits disappearing.  Students already graduate with crippling levels of debt, and now they have fewer credits to roll forward.  Here in NB, the government recently changed their education policy to provide free university tuition for families making under $60,000 per year, and eliminating the tuition payback program that was previously in existence.  Instead of helping more people, and ensuring that NB-educated students stayed in the province to work, fewer students are eligible for aid, and there’s no requirement to work in NB after graduation. 

There is also a heavy emphasis on 4-year university degrees, rather than equally providing help to those choosing to attend college and pursue a trade.  All avenues of post-secondary education should be seen as equally valid (perhaps even with trades taking the edge, since they more easily result in employment in the student’s area of training).

Student’s aren’t even personally eligible for financial aid until four years after high school graduation, which effectively means parents are on the hook for the entirety of their education, unless they delay college for a number of years.  Even families with decent incomes can’t necessarily fund a college or university education, especially for multiple children, without severe hardship.  Either tuition needs to decrease (doubtful), or financial aid needs to become easier to obtain and more favourable to the student, so they aren’t starting their adult lives under a crippling debt load.

By Sarah on September 06, 2017

There is not a lot the Feds can do regarding education, as it is a Provincial jurisdiction item. Giving tax credits to those fortunate individuals whom can already afford a University education, is not helping the actual ” middle class ” individuals trying to raise a family making under $50K to $75K per year. The Feds could increase transfer payments for specific educational applications, however this would be construed by the Provinces as undermining their authority ! The days of co-operation are gone, everybody is in it for themselves, heck with the common good. As long as there is a class system, oh yes, it is there, you will always have higher education only available to the well heeled. Back in the 60’s, a good portion of the general population could afford a college education, which led to an educated population, that rebelled against the dark halls of the status quo. Government does not want a highly educated general public, because they ask too many ” right ” questions. So to ask the question in the first place, is counter productive, to the answer you want to get, which is YES.

By Ken on September 06, 2017