Two days ago, I predicted that Dalton McGuinty's approach to curbing the deficit in Ontario would be scattershot, inadequate, and would cause more problems than it solved. And shortly after I did that, Dalton McGuinty announced that he would be announcing a tuition grant that would cost a lot of money while making a cut to research grants that wouldn't save enough money. Maybe I should start a new career as a soothsayer, or maybe Ontarians should get the message already that these Liberals are without Clue #1.
It's getting very tedious pointing out the flaws in Dalton's bad ideas, but let's do it anyway. Enrollment in universities in Ontario has climbed steadily over the past decade. Students get that going to university can help them get a job. They don't need Dalton's help to understand that fact. Furthermore, as that article points out, the grant itself will be paid for by taking money away from other student grants. Oh noez! The Liberals are gutting our education system!
And is this grant going to be based on things like educational achievement, or financial need? Nope. It seems to be based on who can go to the Liberals' shiny new website and meet their criteria. Now, I know the Liberals' tech guys worked really hard on that website and they want to see their Web 2.0 skills appreciated, but offering students a 30% tuition grant just for logging on and meeting their criteria seems a little too generous. But of course the Canadian Federation of Students feel like they've been screwed over because the tuition cut doesn't apply to absolutely everyone. So look forward to more student unions blowing student money to get more government funding so that they can blow even more of that too. Maybe there'll be a T.A. strike or two like there was at York a few years ago and then students will have paid 30% less tuition to sit on their behinds and learn nothing except that Dalton's a loser!
Meanwhile, the Liberals are quietly axing relatively little in university research grants. Because, you know, once students go to university and pay 30% less tuition for the pleasure, you don't want them to do research or anything. But if you are going to axe university research grants, you don't want to be too obvious about it or make any significant cuts, because then important people will get angry instead of the unimportant people who did get angry about this cut and wrote Liberal MPP Brad Duguid a four-page letter.
So what is this really about? I happen to believe, and I'm not the only one, that Dalton is ignoring other avenues for job creation, like the trades and jobs for which you need a college diploma. The PC Party has been talking a lot about promoting these sectors, but then again the PC Party wants Ontarians to vote PC. The Liberals don't want Ontarians to vote PC, which is why they are trying to breed a generation of overeducated, cash-strapped supplicants who view the Liberal government as the only thing that can ease their suffering.