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Poor McGill

Linking rising tuition fees to its president’s salary cheapens the debate


 

McGill University, as you may have heard, has been the site of various student protests as of late. There are several reasons why Montreal’s ivy-heavy institute of higher learning is a particularly ripe target for these things:

1) Its president, Heather Munroe-Blum, is probably the loudest president/rector in the province in arguing for tuition fee increases;

2) McGill is currently home to a nasty and protracted strike of much of its support staff;

3) Its campus is literally across the street from Jean Charest’s Montreal office;

4) It’s an historically English institution. Cue menacing music.

I don’t have much to say about two, three or four, except to say that they are aggravating factors in number one. Certainly, Monroe-Blum hasn’t done herself any favours in the PR department: with an annual combined salary of $585,481 (with a whopping $229,307 in perks and other compensation) she is, by far, the highest paid university president in Quebec. PR-wise, she would go a long way in the labour dispute if she publicly called on the university board to freeze her salary and do away with the most decadent perks. ($16K yearly car allowance? What, you can’t buy your own damn Honda Civic?) The changes of that happening, of course, are about as likely as Monroe-Blum actually owning a Honda Civic.

But to link rising tuition fees to Munroe-Blum’s salary—which protesters did last week when they occupied her office—cheapens the debate.

Yes, Munroe-Blum makes a lot of money, and there is a debate to be had about that. But you want to talk perks? How’s this: an undergraduate degree for $6,503.40. That’s what it costs for a Quebec resident to attend McGill or any other university in the province. That’s less than half the Canadian average. Granted, that doesn’t include student fees (about $1,300 a year for arts majors), but still: you can get a university education for about half of what Monroe-Blum didn’t spend on that Honda Civic. It’s the deal of the century. And it’s completely unsustainable.

Here’s a fact that jumped out at me from Yves Boisvert’s recent column on the subject. “With inflation,” Boisvert writes, “[Quebec’s] $2200 tuition fee is less than the $500 students paid in 1968.” Why, exactly, such artificially low tuition fees have stubbornly remained in Quebec is a long story. The short version: along with cheap electricity, they are one of our sacred cows. Unlike cheap electricity, though, low tuition is starving the very thing that supplies the resource. Quebec universities have an average accumulated operating deficit of nearly $150 million (see page seven of this report.)

Kind of makes bitching about the government’s planned increase of $1600 seem petty, no? Especially considering how low tuitions amount to subsidies for better-off students, already well-represented on campuses, who could surely afford to paid a lot more.


 
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Poor McGill

  1. The $1600 increase is also pennies compared to the recent substantial increase in fees for foreign doctoral students.  Before this year, foreign doctoral students were all provided with fee waivers, so that they paid only Quebec tuition and fees (about $3,500 per year).  As of this year, incoming doctoral students pay international tuition and fees (about $16,000 per year).  Since most doctoral students are not in a position to pay those fees, the end result is departments are having to provide substantially more support (funding) for each international graduate student, which inevitably means fewer international students going forward.

  2. Low tuition is far less a subsidy for well off students than high tuition is a barrier to poor students getting an education.  Talk about student loans all you want.. at the end of the day, they’re still loans, they still need to be paid back, and the people taking them out have no guarantee they’ll be able to do so. I’d wager that seeing that debt crawl higher and higher discourages more than a few from even starting.

    And that’s assuming you can even get enough on your student loan to both live and go to school, because remember, they expect you to have saved up every summer, yet the youth unemployment rate is the highest it’s ever been.

    I’m actually in favor of unregulated tuition at universities.. but that comes with the caveat of an overhauled student finance system that actually supports those at the lower end — through repayable grants (no interest), with yearly remission based on grades and also by if the graduate chooses to work in a region of Canada with a high need for their profession. 

    But until the student finance system is reworked so that it’s treating post-secondary students as an investment rather than a cost, keep the tuitions down.

    • Some interesting ideas.  You are right that you are expected to work every summer but if you are in an area with high unemployment, you just have to prove that you tried to get a job and were unsuccessful and they will waive that requirement.

      I know that in Alberta if you make your student loan payments faithfully, the Alberta government will often grant you a reprieve of sorts on the last portion of the loan and advise you that you do not have to repay it.  If you miss loan payments and do not contact them to make alternate arrangements, they will send the entire loan to a collection agency.  Even if you claim banruptcy, your student loans will not be forgiven.

      Your suggestion regarding interest free loans for graduates who choose to work in regions of Canada that are in need of their profession has been tried….in fact, free tuition has been offered to medical students who agree to work a year in a “remote’ rural area for each year their tution is paid.  In the end, the program has been unsuccessful.  Upon graduation, the new doctors have overwhelmingly chosen to break their contracts and payback the tuition money rather than spend a few years in those areas.  I think it might be better to approach young people from the areas where certain professions are needed and offer them some kind of deal on tuition if they agree to return to their hometown after graduation.

      I think one of the biggest challenges we have with educating people is to balance that expectation that we have of the educated Canadian as a future contributor/taxpayer and the realization that we are investing substantial dollars in an individual when we subsidize their post-secondary education and we have no way to ensure that they will remain in Canada once they graduate.  

      • Most of these are actually further examples of what I mean when I say the system needs to be reformed.

        Having a system where requirements can be waived is almost always a bad idea, because it depends on a subjective judgement of someone. What one person might consider a sufficient level of “tried to get a job” another one might not, or the level might even vary in the same person depending on the day they had when your application happened to show up.

        “will often” is almost as bad as waiving requirements, because it not only does nothing to mitigate the discouragement factor of having to take out such large loans in the first place, but what happens when you’re the unlucky sod in the lottery for who “often” meant “but not this time”. Not to mention that simply being able to faithfully make your payments can be a serious hassle simply because of the incompetence of the department. One of my friends had a student loan where they took out his automatic monthly payment three times in the same day because of a system glitch. Their system had no way to return the money to him, nor could it apply the money to future payments, they were simply tagged as extra payments to the principle and he was expected to make his next payment normally.. even though they’d taken the cash he was going to use for that.

        Myself, when I had loans, I had payments applied a day early and then threatening letters for why I didn’t pay that month, etc.

        I’m currently of the opinion that the student finance board is possibly the worst run agency of the government. Although from what I’ve heard of veteran’s affairs, they may give it a run for the money.

        That said, on top of this we add the bankruptcy stipulation you point out. Yet another reason why young people might decide not to bother.

        And if people decide they don’t want to work in high-needs areas and not take advantage of additional remission opportunities, that’s fine, but the option should be present and prevalent.

        Paying for a student’s post-secondary education would run us about 100k. If that person graduates, they will make, on average about a million dollars more in their lifetime than someone who isn’t educated, which will be taxed. Even at Alberta’s flat rate of 10%, that makes back the money right there, and that’s completely ignoring any of the ancilliary effects a graduate creates: lower health care costs, lower welfare costs, lower unemployment costs, more CPP donations, more EI donations, higher liklihood of starting a successful business, thus higher likelihood of being an employer and getting other people to pay taxes, and of course the simple fact that the most reliable predictor of whether a person will attend post-secondary is whether their parents did.

        Now on top of this put federal taxes of 20% or so on that extra million and a single graduate has paid for two more.

        The only balance we should consider is how to make sure we have enough spaces to educate all the people who want it.

        • When I spoke of making investments in education that may not net any return for taxpayers, I should have been more specific….I am speaking of medical professionals…..physician specialists who have 8 or more years of post-secondary education in Canada plus many years training in a Canadian hospital and upon graduation are recruited to work out their careers in the US.  They see much personal gain but the return to the Canadian taxpayer is neglible.

          • Once again the world is still larger than your own personal experience.

            Now, as specific rebuttal:
            1. Mostly a myth in the first place these days. It’s been reported in many places that many expat doctors are now returning to Canada.

            2. Even if it weren’t it completely ignores the point I made about one graduate, in the long run, paying for much more than him or herself.

            Part of investing is knowing that you *will* take losses, and being willing to be unemotional about it so that you don’t hang on to them and so miss other opportunities to invest.

            Refusing to support as many of our students as we can because some of them choose to leave for other climes is ridiculous when it’s such a winning investment. I dunno, you’re so big on charitable investments. Consider those few who go as the Canadian taxpayer investment into the world at large if it makes you feel better.

          • Well, so long as you guys are okay with paying to educate that so-called 1% so they can “rape” all the union members, I won’t begrude losing some specialists to other countries.  However, I don’t think any doctors who have left Alberta are on the way back…have you been following the investigations into bullying of physicians by Alberta Health Services?
            Being an altruist, I don’t begrudge giving students a subsidy (which we already do), however, I would rather provide the working poor with free eye care, free dental care and free prescription medication before we start subsidizing post secondary education across the board.  I would also like to see them receive subsidized transit and see AISH receipients get a raise.

          • @57fc79f8528c0aa6c4b4330d53700334:disqus 
            Curious to know who you vote for provincially?

          • First, what goes on in only Alberta is irrelevant. As I continually point out, the world is larger than your tiny corner of it. Second, most doctors, even in the US, aren’t part of the 1% either at this point. That’s how bad the income disparity has gotten.

            And while those are some decent causes, they’re maintenance causes. They don’t get us any further ahead, they just keep us from falling further behind.  Now me, I’m perfectly willing to do both and take the requisite hit on my taxes. Most people aren’t.  So that said, investing in post-secondary grows the government’s revenue stream and shrinks it’s expense stream in the longer term.  So why not do that first, and then later we can do the other as well without having to make the tax burden worse.

    • I have a student loan that I am currently paying off – however, I know for a fact that students take loans and never pay them back – don’t even care -some take the loans planning in advance never to pay them back – this is not uncommon in my experience – students take loans in some cases and go on vacation with the money – dropping all but one course – my education was an investment not only in a future job but in myself – I owe 60 K but I feel it was an amazing service to give me money with no guarantee of return.. the loans are very low interest – and might not even need interest if everyone paid them ba

  3. It may be so that the residents of Quebec pay so little, but 50% of the undergraduate population are either out-of-province or international, and trust me, they pay fees equivalent to those in other provinces (look it up). Out-of-province tuition consists of the Quebec tuition fee + a supplement. This meaning that our tuition fees depend on that of Quebec residents. 

  4. Anyone studying in Quebec who is from a province other than Quebec pays
    more than the Canadian average. Other provinces have out-of-province
    fees as well, but they are a couple hundred bucks, as opposed to more
    than twice as much. That’s at least two Honda Civics (or 137 used
    Chevettes) over the course of your studies.

    There is a large
    percentage of our-of-province students at McGill, none of whom are
    getting this apparent great deal  that the
    “in-my-day-we-worked-200-hours-a-week-in-the-coal-mines-to-pay-for-school”
    crowd keeps harping about.

    There is no such thing as a well-off
    student. It’s pretty near impossible to be independently well-off  by
    the time you’re 18 years old. (Apologies to Justin Bieber). Their
    parents may be well-off, and may be willing to pay their way. But
    shouldn’t any brand new adult be able to independently decide whether or
    not to go to university, where to go, and what to study? Parental
    subsidies often come with strings attached. “So what? they’re paying!”
    people answer. Exactly. It’s not the student’s money.

    Why not
    work throughout school to pay for it? You can earn enough to not depend
    on your parents for tuition!! Of course, that would only cover school
    itself, so you’re still living with your parents, eating their food,
    driving their car…

    To simplify: young adults in this country
    are being asked, on average, to pay upwards of $25000 over the course of
    the four years of adulthood during which they are the LEAST likely to
    have that kind of money. That should be the starting point of this whole
    discussion.

    Students should be asked to pay a reasonable share
    of their studies. How do we do this smartly? The government pays the
    student’s share (as well as the government’s of course), then gets
    repaid once the student graduates and actually enters the work force.
    Interest is slim to none. The payment plan reflects reality – actual
    salary.

    • I have a few questions about some of your ideas regarding “the government paying student’s share and getting repaid when the student enters the workforce”…..what if the student flunks out or drops out or studies something like “art history” that leads to a job waiting tables?  Exactly how will the government get repaid?
      Something similiar to your ideas have been tried….the government has signed contracts with medical students to pay their tuition if they agree to work in remote areas of Canada for a certain number of years.  It has not been a sucessful program….most have backed out of the contract after completing their studies and have chosen to pay back the money rather than honor the agreement.
      As for parents being expected to provide money toward their children’s tuition…that expectation no longer exists once the “child” has been out of high school for a few years. 
      In Alberta where I live, a portion of student loans are forgiven if the student makes the payments faithfully.
      Although your ascertain that “young adults are being asked to pay upwards of $25K…” when they don’t have it, is true….you are skipping the part about them making an investment that will pay pay back many times that amount IF they make the right choices in education.  If today you use that $25K to become a registered nurse in Alberta, you will be making over $80K per year within 8 years of graduating.  What other investment pays that kind of return?

      • If they work as a waiter for the rest of their lives, then I suppose it would take them a very long time to pay back what they borrowed, but they still would. The idea is to take into consideration actual salary when creating the repayment plan – in this case the salary is low, so the payments are smaller over a longer period of time. That’s where the “gift,” if you will, of low interest rates kicks in (the government, as opposed to banks, has no profit motive and can more feasibly accept less interest).

        If people are simply backing out of contracts, then those contracts need stiffer penalties for backing out. If, on the other hand, the contract allows the student to decide to pay back the money after school instead of working in a remote area, then that’s fine. In fact it sounds like what I’m suggesting. I should mention i really like the remote area incentive as part of such a tuition scheme. There could be other incentives built in – part of the loan is forgiven for working in a public interest domain, for example, or in professions that need people. Also, faithful, regular payments could get you a little discount, as you indicate happens in Alberta (btw, before McGill I was at U of A for undergrad – I miss the City of Champions dearly)

        As for parents, I don’t think their income should be part of the equation ever, under any circumstance. If they want to voluntarily give their child a bunch of cash, go for it, but the student shouldn’t have to depend on that – be they five years out of high school or just one.

        I completely agree that a uni education is an investment with great returns, and that the student must themselves make a substantial part of that investment. But you can’t invest what you don’t have. So what I’m suggesting is that the student make the investment when they’re in a position to do so, in other words when they are working. The government fronts the cash until then. The only difference with this and bank loans is low interest rates…but this is a big difference. That, and the individual’s actual salary, as opposed to solely the amount of the loan, is taken into account when establishing a repayment scheme. Call it reality-based financing.

        So in sum: the student still makes the investment in themselves. They just make it a little later in life, when its more feasible, and aren’t crippled by interest in the process

        • Did the student loan system change?  It used to be an interest-free loan until graduation and then it began to accrue interest.  Now, if you forgot to send in a notice that you were still attending school, it would begin accruing interest prior to graduation but in the past, it always waived the interested until graduation.  Also, you weren’t expected to make any payments until you graduated…has that changed?

          • The government pays the interest during the months you are in school full-time. During the months you aren’t, whether summer or simply part-time, it accrues interest which is typically capitalized into the loans when you resume full-time studies.

            However, the question arises of why is the government charging interest at all?  And especially why are they charging it at prime +5%?

          • They are indeed interest free while you study – what I am suggesting is that they remain interest free (or at minimal interest) even after graduation. Basically, over time you pay back exactly what you borrowed, virtually interest-free, at a pace that is realistic given your actual salary.

            The idea is that you should not be penalized at all for paying for your education, even if you pay for it after you are finished. My point is that it only makes sense to pay after you are finished because no 18-year old could be expected to have 25 grand on hand. So how could you justifiably be penalized with accruing interest when there is no realistic way for you to pay up front? Interest is only justified if we, as a society, are callous enough to suggest 18-year olds should have that kind of money kicking around upon leaving high school.

          • In the old days, the student loans used to remain interest free and the first payment was not due until 6 months after graduation.  I do not know why it changed so that the first payment is due the month after graduation.

            I do know that the loans guys are usually willing to work out pretty reasonable pay back schedules. 

          • healthcareinsider

            Key word – ‘old days’.  Why would you assume everything is exactly as the same as when you went to school?

          • JanBC

            From my experience with the loan and bursary program in Quebec, students still have 6 months free of payment after graduation or if a student ends his studies early before payments begin. I took a semester off last year to work out West and had to make a loan payment in December. Once I returned to my studies I did not need to make anymore payments.

      • Why do you only see everything through your own educational experience, the Alberta medical system. one Calgary hospital etc?

        • It was certainly not “my” experience when the government signed deals with medical students to work in remote areas…..I read about it. 
          Who in here does not discuss their own experience…”student loan is awful because they took three payments from my friend and then expected him to keep on making the next payments on schedule….”
          Yes, I discuss “nursing” because I know how much a nurse in Alberta makes, I know that it is a 4 year degree that leads to a full-time job.  When someone says “25K is too much risk for an 18 year old with no money”, I can say….it isn’t if you pick the right degree….in fact….when my sister, a single mother, told my brother she couldn’t afford to go to university…he told her she couldn’t afford not to.   He was right.  She had $40K in student loans but is now making $80K a year as a nurse. 
          What would you rather I do, not encourage people to see the possibilities and take a risk?  At least I am honest and admit my information is all based on my own experiences.  I do not pretend to have knowledge from any other source except what I have seen.

        • As for your “disciplining me” over my referral to the old days, it was just a comment….I am well aware that the system changed.   Pascal & I were just having a “civil” discussion.

  5. Free university.

    • No.  That just helps parents feel better about kids with no intention to study/choose a realistic career path.  I mean, they aren’t going to find a job anyway in this economy, why not stick them in an institution where they can party for half a year?  At least you’ll have a brief respite at home.

      • LOL cute, but we need free university to educate as many people as possible for a better future.

        And we should can our student-drinking culture while we’re at it.

        • So we can have even *more* degreed retail service associates.

          • Are you saying some people shouldn’t be allowed to have an education?

          • How many degrees should each person be allotted?

          • @57fc79f8528c0aa6c4b4330d53700334:disqus 

            How many high school diplomas are you allotted?

          • What I am asking is are you going to give them 1 undergraduate degree for free or more than 1?  Are you going to give them post-graduate degrees for free and if so, how many?

            As for your question about high school diplomas….my guess is that it might vary depending on the Province and your age should you return to upgrade your high-school courses.  In Alberta, if you return to upgrade before the age of 20 years old, the government will let you do so for the bargain basement price of $20.00 per course.  If you wait longer than that, you pay substantially more.  Having said that, as long as you are willing to pay, I don’t think they limit the amount of times you can re-take your highschool courses.

          • @57fc79f8528c0aa6c4b4330d53700334:disqus 

            No, you’re asking why somebody else should get a free university education when you didn’t.

            The dog in the manger route

          • ‘Dog in the manger route”???  I didn’t pay for my own education so I have no reason to complain but I am just wanting some details about your plan for a free university education.

            Why are you reluctant to provide them?

          • @57fc79f8528c0aa6c4b4330d53700334:disqus 

            There’s nothing to ‘provide’.

            Elementary and secondary school are free….the tertiary level should be as well.

          • Okay, so Emily just to clarify…all university courses would be free no matter how long a student attended….if they chose to get 3 undergraduate degrees, all of  the courses would be free.  Also, if they wanted to get post-graduate degrees, those courses would all be free. 
            I am not sure what it is like for the rest of the country but do you know that in Alberta, senior citizens can actually go to university for free?  Of course, they don’t take anybody’s spot or anything….

          • @57fc79f8528c0aa6c4b4330d53700334:disqus 

            Where do you get these odd ideas?

            Do people stay in high school for 20 years?

          • It isn’t that “odd” for people to have to take more than one undergraduate degree when they realize that the first one they picked won’t lead to a job in the field they are interested in….ie: psychology, sociology, anthropology, archeology, geology, English.. …that is if their marks are not high enough to get a masters and PhD in the subject.
            Then they take a second undergraduate degree like business, education (which is masters degree at some universities) or nursing or if their marks are high they try for their MBA. 
            People would absolutely stay in highschool for 4 or more years but the school boards won’t let them.  I am not sure where you went to highschool so I won’t comment about Ontario and its grade 13 but it wasn’t uncommon for young men to return to highschool for a 4th year so they could play on the football team.  In fact, it was so common that the school board in Calgary, made a rule that they could no longer do it.

          • Gosh, universities couldn’t have rules eh?

          • Or we can rely more and more on educated immigrants.

        • How would you go about “canning the student-drinking culture?”

          • Changing the university culture.

            They aren’t there to party, they’re adults who are there to get an education.

          • How would you go about changing the university culture..would you inforce “dry” campuses?

          • @57fc79f8528c0aa6c4b4330d53700334:disqus 

            Having a party or a few drinks is one thing….promoting and encouraging and allowing binge-drinking and huge drunken parties is quite another.

          • I do not think anyone in the university administration is “promoting, encouraging or even allowing bing-drinking and huge drunken parties on campus.”   However, the majority of the students are adults and they have no problem overimbibbing on their own.
            The Calgary student who died in late August due to alcohol poisoning in Nova Scotia, passed away before classes even started. 

          • @57fc79f8528c0aa6c4b4330d53700334:disqus 

            Really?  Is Frosh week necessary?  Is Homecoming?

            Is anyone expelled for drunken rioting at most universities?

      • Oh, would we be providing free room and board too?  What about the books…a beer allowance?

        • Do you do that for high school?

          • No but there is a highschool in every community.  Rural kids are going to need somewhere to live.  They are at a disadvantage when it comes to university.

          • Then we need more universities.

        • Well, there IS the education tax credit, and plus mom and dad could kick in some, and maybe the grandparents took out an RESP, and perhaps a sports scholarship or something.  Hey, they might even have some prior summer job savings left.

          • That covers the middle class students, but what about those who are not so fortunate? 

          • Well, do student loans have to go away just because there’s free tuition?

          • @2Jenn:disqus 
            Where did I say tuition should be eliminated?  I’m in favour of making higher education more accesible to all who who want and qualify for it.  By the way I’m for strict admission standards which of course means we have to work towards equitable public school education. That  leads to more emphasis on early learning…

          • You talked about equitable public school education – that is a big one.  Some of these school boards – Calgary Public School Board is an example, crap away too much of their funding on new buildings for the school board at the expense of the education of their students.  It is revealled in the less than stellar results of their students in the Grade 12 Departmental Exams and are worth 50% of the students’ grades.  The Catholic school students regularly out perform the public students because the Catholics spend their money on computers, teachers and upgrading school buildings.

  6. Umm, a Honda Civic costs more than $16 grand. What planet are you from tree hugging writer?

  7. And some of these students are also supporting the striking support staff’s demands for a raise.  If they don’t agree to an increaese in tuition to pay the increase, are they okay with a tax increase? 

    • I imagine they are, since most of them don’t have to pay it.

      That said, for something like increased university funding, I’d be willing to pay the tax increase as well.

  8. I’m originally from the U.S.  My daughter recently graduated with a masters in OT from the University of Minnesota.  She took all the grants available and then needed loans for the remaining.  After 6 years of education she is now well over $70,000 in debt.  And that is including her state resident discount and her work as a grad assistant.  I just did some quick math and it looks like you can become an MD from world renowned McGill for less then $30,000.  ANY McGill student who dares complain about a paultry $1,600 increase needs to take a healthy dose of shut the hell up.  The term “spoiled brats” for these ingrates is an insult to truly spoiled brats.    

  9. Hey, what are we gonna tell kids about the North Pole when it becomes ice-free in the winter in 10-15 years?  That it is setup temporarily?  University environmental sciences buildings still have displays from 2001 based upon 2001 computer models predicting rainfall loses up north.  The 2006-ish models predict a precipitation rise, something like 100mm added to existing annual 300mm.
    Snowfall guages need to be implemented everywhere, to determine land use planning; where to make fuscum bogs, farms, forests….is it cheaper to have indigenous populations record snowfall or to automate the dumping of reservoirs?
    Grain storage research is probably not covered by CPC $151M R+D climate funding.  Existing researchers are using neoprene layers over steel and using a C-clamp to squish the bordering neoprenes 2mm.  It keeps out a bug that can penetrate 0.53mm opening but not 0.33mm.  But they use teeny models.  It would be nice to give them $ for sellable prototypes.  Bugs are coming.  Same for new drying systems.  The hope is an economy of scale reinforces itself.

  10. Bravo Mr Patriquin for your informative text. May I add that Mrs Munroe-Blum is expected to become chairman of the board of Canada Pension Plan as soon as it will be possible, in such a way that signing the petition asking for her resignation from McGill Bunch of Directors might be futile, the petition being signable at www,change.org. Thank you for keeping us well and fully informed in that matter.

  11. It is like Greece.  People feel they have a right to education with out having a plan to pay for it, but the politicians know they can not get reelecteed if they make the tough choice.

    1.  Start by pushing trades as well as university.  We have a generation of kids who have arts degrees, high student loans and limited skills to get a well paying job.  Trades offer a way to make money through school and offer an opportunity to start paying your way before you reach mid twenties.  This also will create a skilled workforce and help the economy
    2.  Answer the question as a province of who is responsible for tuituion-Tax payers?  Students?  Families of students? 
    3.  Start teaching citizens how to manage their finances–young and old–if individuals understand how to manage their finances, they can gain skills to put a plan together to pay for what they want.

  12. What I find interesting about the McGill president’s extravagant pay package is that she is a recent appointee to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board — which is too well known for the extravagant pay packages it gives to its executives.   Moreover, why is a resident of Quebec a director of the CANADA Pension Plan when all residents of her province have their own public pension plan.   Is anyone in Ottawa watching the CPP Investment Board?

    • How much do they get paid?

  13. As a McGill student who has been following this debate on campus and who’s been actually involved in it as a student reporter and sometimes protester, all I can say to the author is this: what the hell are you talking about?

    Ask any McGill who’s been following campus politics over the past few months and they will tell you that the recent commotions at McGill have absolutely nothing to do with HMB’s salary. Sure, it’s pretty high, but a quick look at any campus media will have you realize that her salary is far from being a focal point of debate and is mentioned rarely, if not only in passage. McGill students are aggravated with the administration’s intransigent and authoritarian management of campus life. Student voices and dissenting views (especially in regards to the MUNACA strike) are repressed, while corporate interests seem to be increasingly the norm. If universities are supposed to be a place for debate and the exchange of ideas, McGill, through HMB’s leadership, has effectively reversed the trend. That’s why students are angry. Not because HMB makes a lot of money…

    Get your facts straight Patriquin.

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