It's no secret that Canadian students are stressed out financially. Many graduates are taking on a significant level of student debt. Recent numbers from the Canada Student Loans Program reveal that in 2012-2013, 472,000 full-time students and 9,600 part-time students took out $2.6 billion in loans from the federal government. Between 2005 and 2012 alone, Statistics Canada also reported that student debt grew by 24 per cent. All of this reminds us that saving early for university or college should be a top priority for new parents if they want to help set their kids up for the greatest potential success.
This need for an inter-generational politics is especially relevant in the context of an interesting debate that has been playing out in the Globe and Mail on the topic of youth engagement in politics. It is great to see this debate in a major Canadian newspaper and especially with youth themselves as the protagonists.
Whether you support them or not, Quebec students are giving us all a valuable lesson in leadership. When Quebec Premier Jean Charest announced relatively small increases in tuition fees, he was speaking from the head. When Quebec students responded by boycotting classes and taking to the streets, they were reacting from the heart.
Going to university is like hitting the snooze button on life: You do whatever you want whenever you want, and there are no consequences. Same thing goes for these protests: Most of the kids on strike in Quebec demonstrating in the streets, are going to turn out just fine, and become hard-working citizens like you and me.