Unsigned: the CCI’s plans to keep knowledge in Ontario

The Council of Canadian Innovators’ discussion of charging Ontario students who leave the province after graduation is worrying, angering and also an example of regressive ideology.

By restricting Ontario students, does that mean that they also want special job privileges for those graduated from Ontario universities? Or do they just want us to sit around unemployed while students who aren’t trapped to their home countries move to Ontario?

Here in Waterloo, we have the Balsillie School of International Affairs, a collaborative between Laurier, University of Waterloo and the Centre for International Governance Innovation. It almost seems like a waste to have an international school if we’re being convinced to stay within Canada.

If they’re crying for jobs in these sectors, wouldn’t it make sense to create appealing jobs, rather than threaten us with more debt if we want to move?

The truth of the matter is that Ontario is great for tech startups, but if we want to move up in the tech workforce, we have to go to the United States. Students will move to where the jobs are and that’s just not Ontario, right now.

Just look at RIM. Until jobs are sustainable in Ontario again, we’re going to go where it’s stable.

There are only so many jobs that the new Google building can provide and with so many people coming out of the programs the CCI is suggesting every year, there’s no way all will get jobs in Ontario. So what’s to happen to the rest?

What the CCI fails to understand is that students still pay massive amounts of money through our “publicly funded institutions.” Most students have some type of loan and we invest in our education ourselves, which we pay back to the government anyway.

We, as students, all know that OSAP is a flawed system, but the CCI doesn’t seem to recognize this, either. This new debt would increase the poverty cycle for the students who rely on the grants and bursaries.

They come across as very entitled and out of touch with the reality of students.

Moving to the United States may actually be beneficial to students as well as to the government. With the exchange rate the way it is, we might be able to pay off our loans faster with the American Dollar.

Besides, when Ontario students are employed by a big company outside of the country, it’s free advertising for Ontario universities. It’s boasting the strengths of our programs.

So why box our ambitions when they benefit Canadian taxpayers, as well?

This could be seen as students being made into a commodity, rather than the people that we are. It makes the argument that we’re only valid to society if we’re contributing money to the Ontario government, otherwise we’re not worth the investment.

Essentially, they want to keep Ontario students hostage. If this went through, we’d be trapped in Ontario until we paid back more money on top of the loans we already have.

The CCI is also disregarding the fact that we have mobility rights. Legally, we can move wherever we want. Placing a tax on this right should be seen as unconstitutional.

Even if this CCI initiative never gets off the ground, it shows the rhetoric working against students in Ontario.

The fact we are talking about this issue shows the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance is doing a good job in protecting our students and their rights. Right now, OUSA is emphasizing that Laurier students have nothing to worry about.

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