Milloy joins K-W candidate at Laurier


Local Liberal candidates Eric Davis and John Milloy visited Wilfrid Laurier University Tuesday afternoon to spread the word among students regarding the advanced polls being held on campus on Sept. 28 and 29 for the provincial election.

In addition to providing polling information, the candidates, along with members of the WLU Young Liberals, informed students about the Liberals’ education platform.

Minister of training, colleges and universities and Kitchener Centre incumbent member of provincial parliament (MPP) Milloy discussed the rationale for the party’s proposed tuition grant. “We want to make sure finances are not an obstacle for any student,” he said, regarding their proposal to offer undergraduate students a $1,600 tuition grant if their family makes less than $160,000 annually.

On deciding the focus of the party platform, Milloy said, “We identified the key areas, health care particularly for seniors and the other is post-secondary education.”

“We put forward a very careful, some could say modest, platform. We have 45 commitments, which at the end of year four [is] about a $1.5 billion, about a third of that on the post-secondary side in terms of tuition credit,” Milloy explained in response to the effects the tuition grant would have on the overall provincial budget. He criticized that the opposition parties are offering many more commitments at a higher price tag.

Not yet of voting age, first-year global studies student Yusuf Zine said while his family tends to vote NDP in elections, the Liberal platform on education has spiked his interest to learn about the party’s other policies.

“This is the first time somebody has actually come and talked to us,” said Zine.

“It’s a lot more personal.”

Looking at the benefits of the Liberal post-secondary platform for Kitchener-Waterloo, an area that is home to two universities and a college, Davis, a WLU grad said, “One of our commitments it to create 60,000 more post-secondary education spaces … the primary reason being that we need to make sure we have a highly-educated work force in order to compete in the global economy.”

In adding more spaces to universities, an emphasis on international students has been viewed by the province since early 2010 with concerns on attracting these students and the challenges they have in funding their education.

“No, they will not be eligible, I’ve been asked about the tuition credit,” Milloy said about international students. “But what we’re looking at is, are there better ways to accommodate international students in terms of certainty around tuition, in terms of the support they’re receiving at the institutions?”

“One of the things we’ve done to try to attract PhD scholars is the trillium scholarship,” he said, adding that this is a program the Conservatives intend to cut.

Milloy concluded that international students are still accessing Canadian institutions at a bargain in comparison to schools in the U.S. or Europe. “University-wise you’re coming to some of the best institutions on Earth and you’re paying a relatively small amount when you compare it to something in the U.S.,” he said.

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