RE: “In defence of lobbying for up front grants”

UMSU president Jakob Sanderson’s recent advocacy adventures with the Undergraduates of Canadian Research-Intensive Universities (UCRU) have not gone without criticism.

Sanderson and other representatives from some of the larger universities in Canada have decided the elimination of tuition tax credits (and increased funding for grants) is the way to go.

His latest response to some of this criticism has come through an article in the latest edition of the Manitoban where he breaks down some of the arguments against his efforts.

The end of the article comes with the admission that publicly funded education with no individual tuition would be the ideal outcome — but this is not what Sanderson and UCRU are advocating for.

It seems anything to do with raising taxes is taboo in Canadian culture and I see no reason for this to continue.

The more people that talk about something, the less taboo it becomes.

Take marijuana legalization, for instance.

It took a long time and a lot of discussion before it became reality, but the fact is it is now a reality. How about universal healthcare?

Doctors actually went on strike to oppose its initial implementation in 1961, but generations later Canadians love their healthcare system and a majority of them are even willing to pay more taxes for its expansion.

Most people look back and wonder why the system was ever privately operated.

And this will happen again in the future with post-secondary education. Let us follow in the socialist footsteps of many European nations, rather than the path to privatization the USA is currently on.

The Canadian Federation of Students is the only national association of student unions to currently have a campaign demanding that tuition not only be reduced but eliminated altogether.

Sanderson is actively looking to leave the federation and seek less-than-ideal compromises when it comes to tuition through other avenues, such as UCRU.

It is obvious that the elimination of tuition will not come overnight, but if you take steps today in its direction you begin to pave the way for others to do the same tomorrow.


Mathew Scammell