By: Aaron L. Pope

We cannot sit idly by and hope for something good to happen; it’s time to get involved.

Ontario students are facing some of the worst circumstances in the history of this nation. Sky-rocketing debt, unemployment rates in the double digits, especially for the younger workforce, and on top of everything else, tuition rates that have increased 110 per cent since 2000. The fact of the matter is students, parents, teachers and anyone who cares about the future of Canada should be learning the lessons the students in Quebec taught their government.

That lesson is a simple one: If you don’t do something about this insanity, we will be forced to take drastic measures to get a fair deal.

I’m told that rising tuition is a necessity, because costs keep rising and government subsidies keep subsidizing. I’m told that letting every single Canadian child get a good and fair education is simply not sustainable. I’m told that some must be left behind so the rest can prosper. Not everyone gets to go to college.

OSAP and other student loans help cover the costs and that helps, but most loans involve promises. I promise to pay back the cost of my car to the bank. I promise to pay back the cost of my house – hopefully before I die. In return, I am given a car and a house. Both things are guaranteed for as long as I can make my payments or complete them.

A college diploma on the other hand, is a wishy washy half-truth. You will pay back what you owe, but there is never a guarantee made that your diploma will be worth the paper it’s printed on the moment it hits your hot little hands.
I believe that if we can open our wallets in order to spend billions of dollars on corporate tax breaks, wars and pork barrel projects then we can pull a little change out of the couch to put our kids through school.

That’s why we must protest; we must write letters and demand change. The piecemeal discounts and tuition refunds politicians offer students when it’s politically advantageous is nothing compared to the cost Canadians will have to bear when the wells dry up and our children are too stupid to do anything about it.

We must make education, real education, as accessible as fast food chains. We must make them a beacon of hope, and then maybe we will see real change and everyone can have the life they choose over toil and death.