Liberals pledge money for post-secondary students

Teresa Wright
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Holland College vice president Michael O’Grady, left, points out some of the features to the new Holland College Summerside Waterfront Campus to Federal Revenue Minister Gail Shea, Premier Robert Ghiz and Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart in this file photo. Ghiz made promises to post-secondary students this morning as part of his election campaign.

The Liberals unveiled their first batch of election promises this morning in Charlottetown, targeting university and college students in their first week of classes.

Premier Robert Ghiz pledged to eliminate interest on the provincial portion of existing student loans for those who remain on the Island. That includes existing outstanding loans and all future loans.

He also promised to introduce a new $2,000 bursary for students in their final year of study and to increase the existing first-year George Coles bursary by $200.

Ghiz said he wanted to focus his first election announcement on education because he believes investing in higher learning is an investment in the future of the province.

“Unlike some other jurisdictions, we are not blessed with oil, timber or precious metals. Here on the Island our greatest resource is our people,” Ghiz said to a room filled with media and the entire Liberal caucus.

“Making sure Islanders have the best possible access to educational programs will pay long-term dividends for generations to come.”

The Liberal candidates will be spending the day doing door-to-door campaigning in their districts. Many of them told The Guardian this would be their first opportunity to devote dedicated time at their constituents’ doorsteps.

Ghiz, however, will be spending much of his day in the ridings formerly and currently occupied by the Opposition Tories. He will begin in Progressive Conservative Leader Olive Crane’s riding of Morell-Mermaid, campaigning with Dan MacDonald.

He will then join Liberal candidate Kevin Gotell in Georgetown-St. Peters, the riding formerly held by Mike Currie. Currie resigned earlier this spring to make an unsuccessful bid to unseat Liberal Lawrence MacAulay in the federal riding of Cardigan.

Later this afternoon, Ghiz plans to head to the Montague-Kilmuir district to campaign alongside Allan Roach in the riding previously held by Jim Bagnall, who chose not to reoffer this time around.

Tonight, the whole Liberal caucus will reunite in Charlottetown for Ghiz’s nomination meeting at the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel.

Check out tomorrow’s Guardian for more details on the Liberals’ post-secondary education promises and for coverage of Ghiz’s nomination meeting.

Organizations: Rodd Charlottetown Hotel

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Georgetown

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Recent comments

  • Remember
    September 07, 2011 - 21:27

    Another promise.Thank you so much.Just like poker....A promise made is a debt unpaid.I will say no more.

  • Spin
    September 07, 2011 - 20:04

    Desperate attempt to but the student vote with their parents ang grangparents dollars.

  • Thanks
    September 07, 2011 - 14:00

    This is an excellent idea by our Liberal government. They continue to demonstrate their commitment to Island students and graduates by walking the walk. My student debt is $600 a month and will be for many years to come. Taking the provincial interest portion of this will save me about $2,000 before I'm finished paying off the loan. As someone who has decided to stay on PEI after graduating, I think this is a very reasonable offer. I only wish I'd had the grants offered by this Liberal government when I started in 2004.

  • Our Youth IS our Future
    September 07, 2011 - 13:08

    Choosing to leave PEI for higher education is just that....a choice. This IS great news for our young people on PEI...they ARE our future. Well done Robert!

    • Garth Staples
      September 07, 2011 - 19:22

      The Ghiz money machine just keeps spending our money(they don't even say thank you!) This is the same group that added 408 million to the debt and now they want to add more! Have they no conscience? Second HIGHEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE, LOWEST WAGES, HIGHEST TAXES --there is more!

    • Michael Nesbitt
      September 07, 2011 - 23:20

      This is a convenient promise. It may be a choice to leave the province after graduation, but that is where most of the jobs are, with earnings that afford a reasonable standard of living. Some will find employment in their field on P.E.I., but with a limited market and business variety, there won't be that many of them... and it is just as well that they get a break because they won't be earning much. There are some well-paid jobs on the Island, and I have been told more than once that we have the highest per-capita incidence of millionaires... but we also have an over abundance of workers earning less than $25,000/year, and I consider that disturbing.

  • Tobias
    September 07, 2011 - 12:14

    I am 57 years old. I do not pretend to be able to advise young people on what to do esp. in regard to voting. But I do want to share how my son convinced me to vote PC in this next provincial vote. No it is not about overspending and debt and such things. My son is much tougher on that score than I am. I vote NDP and wholeheartedly supported Joe Byrne in the last federal vote. And I will do so again. I believe in investing in students and helping to reduce their debt load and I have no problem with this post-secondary announcement by the Liberals. However it is time for us to look really closely at what is happening in the morality and mechanics of politics in this province. My son has convinced me to give Olive Crane a close look because of her position on ethics, accountability and good government. We need the PNP situation explained and we as a people have to learn what happened here two years ago. We can't endure a reputation of manipulating immigrant people for the benefit of local powerful people through cash in numbered business companies. We have to heal ourselves from that tarnish. and we must not have public servants blamed for projects that are essentially political in nature. These are the Borden sand hills, the Milton paint shop, and bio-commons. Public servants should not endure cuts because of government's political spending. Above all else, my son and I want to encourage young people to take a long term view of our province. I have read over Olive Crane's commitments on conflict of interest, the PNP review and careful auditing of government spending. These are things that PEI needs and I will put aside my NDP affiliation to help elect the PC candidate in my district. While spending promises such as these post-secondary monies are tempting I ask all young people including students to consider supporting the PCs, at least to establish a viable opposition. If you do not stand up for our future then who will? It will not be my generation. We are way too partisan and stuck in our ways. It will be young people that create change and I encourage all young Islanders to get behind these positive and greatly needed PC proposals for good and honest government in PEI.

    • nostalgic
      September 07, 2011 - 14:07

      Tobias you remind me of juke stredel and amazin ravin and a whole bunch of other wise posters from the past. keep it up.

    • Give Olive a Chance
      September 07, 2011 - 18:41

      Absolutely! Great comment! As for me, I've voted Liberal all my life and I'm embarrassed at the behaviour of our current "rulers". Nothing but money grabs for a select few with no benefit for ordinary islanders. Let's try honest ethical government on PEI - give Olive a chance.

    • Michael Nesbitt
      September 07, 2011 - 23:13

      Any party can promise more ethical government, and audits of things that the government choses. On the other hand, any government can also buy our votes with promises of flushing money down the oil well and collecting less sales tax money (which WILL have to be made up somewhere else, perhaps vehicle registrations, various licenses, etc.) You go ahead and vote for Ms. Crane's "Progressive" Conservatives. Me, I think we need to try someone outside the "tired and untrue" parties that have shared control of our money for too long.

    • ROLLOVER
      September 08, 2011 - 08:59

      Nostalgic, I knew Juke Streudel. He died. So EFFF OFFFFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was my cousin, my friend of a lifetime, and, like me, a Liberal on pause until the day Robert Ghiz leaves the Premier's Office. Guardian, if you violate your anonymous posting policy by allowing such speculations on just one more occasion, I will file a law suit against you and Transcontinental and come at you legally as hard as I possibly can. Thank you. And oh yes do not reject this post. I want Nostalgic and the rest of the crooks who have hijacked the provincial Liberal Party to see this.

  • To late for me.....
    September 07, 2011 - 12:04

    This is great to see for current and future students. However, it sucks for people like me that have already had to pay off my student loan without any type government help. Not having to pay any interest would have been wonderful, but I guess its to late for me. I'm assuming there wont be any interest refunds - correct?

  • PO'd Parent
    September 07, 2011 - 11:09

    A great thing for students who choose to remain on PEI however it is just another kick in the teeth for students, parents, grandparents etc... who continue to pay huge amounts for off island students education and then have their hard earned tax dollars spent to help pay for others education as well. Islanders are Islanders where ever they decide to further their education !!!

    • Absolutely
      September 07, 2011 - 12:06

      It amounts to a fine of $4200 for any Island student who chooses to go to school off Island....

    • DL
      September 07, 2011 - 12:43

      I understand your viewpoint, but here is some additional info to consider. We should distinguish between two types of students who choose to attend an off island university. The first group are those who could have taken an equivalent program at UPEI, but have chosen to go else where. These students have made the choice of their own free will to forgo the financial incentives to stay.....more power to them, but since they have done so of their own free will, then they have nothing to blame the PEI government for. The second group are those who go off island because UPEI does not offer an eqivalent program. To these students, I say that there is a reciprocal agreement between PEI and other provinces, which require PEI to pay the host province the difference between what the host university recieves in tuition and the actual cost to educate the student. Do not forget that in Canada, tuition only covers a fraction of the cost to educate a student. Provincial governments automatically subsidize the bulk of the remaining cost.

  • simone
    September 07, 2011 - 11:03

    Here we go! The only time we see Mr. Ghiz working is whenn there is an election or a celebrity is in town. This guy loves the camera but seems to shy away from real issues. I love the fact they had the guts to close small schools but since that.......(can you hear the crickets?) nothing. Aceleb shows up and Robert is right there with his hand out. We don't need a figurehead. We need a leader and right now, pickings are slim! Wake up Islanders, elections are a time to promise things you have no intention of delivering.