My Question on Removing Interest From Student Debt
Peggy Sattler: Thank you Speaker. My question is to the Premier. A new Forum poll shows that two-thirds of Ontarians support the NDP’s plan to remove interest from student loans. They agree that post-secondary education should be a path to a brighter future with many opportunities, not a path to years and years of debt that delays young people from buying a home, starting a family, and other life milestones. Does the Premier agree with two-thirds of Ontarians that interest should be removed from student loans?
Hon. Deborah Matthews: Well Speaker, we are in fact eliminating debt for many, many thousands of students. We are moving forward with the most ambitious reform of student assistance in North America and we are very excited about the opportunity that will bring to students across this province Speaker, because we absolutely believe that access to post-secondary education should be based on your ability to learn, your hard work, not your ability to pay Speaker. So I absolutely expect the Member opposite and the party opposite to support us as we move forward bringing int he new reformed OSAP Mr. Speaker.
Peggy Sattler: Speaker, too many young people in Ontario are graduating and unable to enter the careers they dreamed of – ending up unemployed or underemployed in jobs that do not leverage their skills and talents. After four years of university, young people in Ontario who rely on financial assistance are graduating with average debt loads of $28,000. We’ve reached a tipping point in the province and young people deserve better. My question to the Premier is: why does her Liberal government think it is OK to profit from interest charged on student debt? If two-thirds of Ontarians support interest-free student loans, why doesn’t the Premier?