September 23, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 14  

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Rebecca Coulter: NDP puts student issues first

By: Rebecca Coulter

The New Democratic Party has made students' issues a priority. That's one of the main reasons I'm running as the NDP candidate in London North Centre.

Only the NDP will immediately reduce tuition fees by 10 per cent. Only the NDP will implement a better student financial assistance plan that will provide up-front needs-based grants and be available to part-time students.

The NDP is committed to re-regulating and reducing tuition fees in programs, including medicine, business, law, dentistry, engineering and graduate studies, where the cost has become exorbitant.

The NDP will increase funding to universities to at least the national average to guarantee a high quality education. That will mean smaller class sizes, more professors and better services for students.

Through my work as a professor and associate dean in the faculty of education here at Western, I've become all too familiar with the effects of Conservative mismanagement on our university and on students' lives.

Many students have appalling debt loads. Many are working two or three part-time jobs at minimum wage to try to pay the bills. Many willing and qualified students are forced to leave Western part-way through their studies because they just can't afford to continue.

Conservative policies have made Ontario the province with the second highest tuition fees and the second lowest per student funding in Canada.

Liberals only offer a short-term, temporary freeze on tuition fees that are already too high. Liberals plan to raise the loan limits, thus driving students even deeper into debt.

Only the NDP offers a strong, clear plan for supporting students on and off campus. We will freeze rents for two years, introduce cost-saving public auto insurance and immediately raise the minimum wage to $8 an hour.

The NDP has a certified balanced budget plan that will make a real difference in the lives of students. And I have the background and leadership skills necessary to fight for the affordable, reliable public services we all need and use.

In addition to working with students, staff, faculty and administrators at Western and many other universities, I have experience as a policy adviser, media commentator, researcher and consultant. I have served on advisory committees for the Ministry of Education, the Ontario Training and Adjustment Board, the Ontario Women's Directorate and London's Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children. Check out for more information.

In the last provincial election, the NDP came a very close second in London North Centre, with the Liberals trailing a distant third. My campaign is receiving overwhelming support and I am ready to go to Queen's Park.

On Oct. 2, your vote is your say. Vote for reduced tuition fees. Vote to raise the minimum wage. Vote for public auto insurance. Vote for a strong voice from Western; a professor with real expertise in education. Vote for Rebecca Coulter and the NDP.



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