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Policy alert


 

Michael Ignatieff promises a Canada Service Corps.

Ignatieff also announced that a Liberal government would provide employment insurance rebates for businesses that hired workers aged 18-25 and introduce the Canada Service Corps, a program that would reduce student debt by $1,500 for students who participate in 150 hours of community service.


 

Policy alert

  1. Which is almost identical to creating part-time community service positions at $10 an hour, with a hiring pool of only those with student debt.

  2. Which is almost identical to creating part-time community service positions at $10 an hour, with a hiring pool of only those with student debt.

    • Why are people giving you a thumbs down? All you did was the math. . . .

  3. 'Education' is the biggest reason I'm voting Liberal this time.

  4. 'Education' is the biggest reason I'm voting Liberal this time.

    • Education is the wrong reason to vote Liberal.

      To pursue a BA in Halifax each year of university costs approximately $8000 ($32, 000 total). The Liberal Learning Passport would pay for 1/8 of a BA through four $1000 RESP contributions. However, Canada Student Loans considers RESPs as income in the assessment of an applicant's financial need. Therefore, over a four year degree, the student would trade access to $4000 in debt (at 0% interest while enrolled in university) and $2232 in tax breaks for $4000 in RESP contributions. Thus, through the Liberal Learning Passport, the student would have less income at their disposal while enrolled in post-secondary education but would graduate with 1/8 less in debt.

      Student loans are calculated to meet the student's financial needs from when their studies begin in September to their end in April. Students of little means, who rely on the current tax rebate to assist in the transition from their studies to summer employment, will have to rely on other less favorable means such as student lines of credit (with interest at market rates) to make up for this $558 annual shortfall.

      • The Liberal Learning Passport is an inefficient means to address the issue of rising tuitions and mounting student debt. The Liberal Party has stated that the Liberal Learning Passport will be paid for through an increase in corporate income tax. Increases in corporate income tax will bring relatively little to federal coffers and will adversely affect provincial revenue which is dependent upon the various taxes placed on employers and employees. It is the provinces who fund our post-secondary institutions and any impact on provincial revenue will adversely affect their ability to subsidize tuition through post-secondary institutions.

        The federal government should not focus its efforts on assisting students in the repayment of debt; it should instead focus on decreasing tuition, the cause of mounting student debt. The focus of any education platform should be on the reduction of tuition through the provinces which are responsible for funding our nation's post-secondary institutions.

        • You are wrong. It doesn't count as income. It doesnt effect access to loans or other grants.

          • No you are wrong call your bank and ask them. They will confirm that RESPs are considered income in Canada Student Loans assessment of an applicant's financial need.

          • The party has specifically stated that the Learning Passport will not count towards your RESP total.

          • Yes they have. They responded to this issue the same day by pointing out that the money, in coming directly from the federal government with no requirement for matching funds from the family, will not be allowed to be held against family income calculations for the purposes CSL's. it's simply being stored in the existing RESP system because, well, it's there so they might as well use it.

            Considering the Feds also set the rules for CSL's, that shouldn't be a problem to implement.

          • Its not surprising that Ignatieff doesn't know how Canada Student Loans interact with RESPs he's the one who annouced that he fired Andre Forbes although there's nothing in the law that allows a party to remove a confirmed candidate. And because Forbes isn't resigning, the Liberals can't run another candidate in the riding.

          • Ignatieff can fire people by not signing….or ripping up….nomination papers

            And before you get off on the entire campaign, let's return this to the topic of education.

          • That only works if Forbes hasn't been confirmed as a candidate which he has.

      • No, it's exactly the right reason. A move in the right direction.

        42 per cent of adults and 39 per cent of youth lack the literacy skills to get a good job and cope with the demands of today's knowledge society. StatsCan

        • No, spending federal money on student debt is a move in the wrong direction. The reason why post-secondary education is unaffordable is because of rising tuition. Contributing to the repayment of student debt does nothing to address the cause of that debt. If you want marginalized individuals to attend post-secondary institutions you make it more affordable by decreasing tuition.

          The Liberal Party would rather spend finite federal resources on bailing out the ship instead of repairing the expanding hole from which the water surges.

          • I'm a firm believer in 'free' education….but since we can't afford that right now, this is a step in the right direction.

          • Federal Governments have no control over Tuition. Only Provincial governments do. If they tried to directly impact this area, the Provinces would start screaming about "intrusion on their domain" so they only way to work federally is from the back end.

    • Emily,
      Throwing around money for student education is the wrong approach to the problem. free education is the wrong approach to the problem. Lower tuition fees is the wrong approach to the problem.
      The correct approach to the problem is to establish a six year undergraduate program through the co-op model.
      Students must get jobs in the field they are studying for a specified number of hours, weeks months etc.
      If the students earn a degree rather than have it given to them they will be generally be better off in terms of self worth and work experience.
      My son did a co-op program which he was able to finance 75% of his tuition, books, room and board. When he graduated he was very proud of his accomplishment. He had job offers flowing in because over 5 years he had 2.5 years of experience.
      Emily, Stop looking for the government to give you something for nothing. Work hard and earn your way through life. When I went through University I went "to the woods" and cut pulpwood evert day that I wasn't in school. During my last year I took off Christmas Day and 1/2 of New years Day.
      I graduated with an honors degree…. paid for it with my own money… and did not have a student loan.

      • This idea makes more sense than anything I have heard on the subject for a long time. The problem is, in Canada, people typically don't like, or they fear, change. People would scream that school should be 4 years, that we are destroying the system, etc. It is just like health care. We all know it is broken, but we won't support anyone who wants to fix it. We are afraid of the change.
        Because people are so ignorant of the facts behind the issues, they consistently vote for a politician who promises the they will fix the problem by spending more money on it, or create a new program to deal with it, etc. This will continue, until we are broke, like some of the countries in Europe – of this I have no doubt.
        I wish I could have a higher opinion of the ability of the electorate to see the dangers that lie ahead of us, but from what I have seen, on the posts on this website, I sadly can't say that I do. I consistently hear praise for any politician who promises to spend more. I consistently hear people who say that they will vote for their own self interest, not what is good for the country as a whole, or what is good for the country long term. I rarely see a post such as yours, from someone who objectively looks at a problem, and uses facts and logic to come up with a solution. I hope that this idea can gain some momentum.

        • Countries in Europe didn't go broke because of education…in Greece avoiding taxes is a national sport. Banks lending more money than the GDP….wasting money on massive militaries etc. that's what did it.

          It's a blind spot we have to get past.

          • I have heard some people say that 'the military' is a huge waste of taxpayer funds. That is probably true in the US (but we love to live right next to them, all safe and secure) but it probably isn't so in Europe. Feel free to research. You will find that the biggest expenditures of any almost any contry are Social Services, Education, Health, and Debt.
            You state Greece, and not paying taxes as the problem. You fail to mention the myriad of social programs all of the countries have. The lower retirement age. The retirement income that they receive. The list goes on.
            If you think that the state can pay for everything, you need to look no further than Europe to see that you are wrong. The belief in 'entitlements' is coming to an end.
            You are right, they didn't go broke because of education, it was a combination of many government programs.
            Once we get our deficit down, we should work on paying down our debt. In order to do that, we will, as Canadians, have to have a frank discussion of what has to change in gov't. Once that is done, we can sit down, and structure the govt as we need, with an eye on the future. Until the debt is gone, the debate over where we spend is a waste of time. We should be talking about where we can save.

          • Well you don't have to go by 'what some people say', you can look it up for yourself.

            $20 billion bucks is a lot of money to spend on our military.

            The US keeps us 'safe and secure'? From what? The only country that's ever invaded us is…..the US.

            In the EU, each country has a military…massive waste of money.

            Of course they have social programmes…..so does the US. The US just doesn't run theirs very well, and are having to tighten their belts along with Europe.

            No the EU has problems for the reasons I stated….don't try to palm your ideology off on me cuz I'm not buying it.

            When Martin was PM, we didn't have a deficit…we had a surplus. And we'd paid a huge chunk off on the debt…..then your buddy Harper came along.

            We won't eliminate the debt…we've had a debt since year one….so has the US

            Wingers have been talking about 'saving' money forever…then they get in and spend like drunken sailors.

      • Well good for you….bootstraps and all that…however we went through all these same arguments with elementary and secondary levels of school….and yet by providing them free we improved society immeasurably, and moved forward.

        Since we are now into the knowledge age we don't have time for rehashing the old arguments….tertiary levels must be funded as well. Undergraduate degrees are now entry level….they are what high school used to be….we'll need more beyond that to compete in a globalizing world.

  5. Education is the wrong reason to vote Liberal.

    To pursue a BA in Halifax each year of university costs approximately $8000 ($32, 000 total). The Liberal Learning Passport would pay for 1/8 of a BA through four $1000 RESP contributions. However, Canada Student Loans considers RESPs as income in the assessment of an applicant's financial need. Therefore, over a four year degree, the student would trade access to $4000 in debt (at 0% interest while enrolled in university) and $2232 in tax breaks for $4000 in RESP contributions. Thus, through the Liberal Learning Passport, the student would have less income at their disposal while enrolled in post-secondary education but would graduate with 1/8 less in debt.

    Student loans are calculated to meet the student's financial needs from when their studies begin in September to their end in April. Students of little means, who rely on the current tax rebate to assist in the transition from their studies to summer employment, will have to rely on other less favorable means such as student lines of credit (with interest at market rates) to make up for this $558 annual shortfall.

  6. Education is the wrong reason to vote Liberal.

    To pursue a BA in Halifax each year of university costs approximately $8000 ($32, 000 total). The Liberal Learning Passport would pay for 1/8 of a BA through four $1000 RESP contributions. However, Canada Student Loans considers RESPs as income in the assessment of an applicant%E2%80%99s financial need. Therefore, over a four year degree, the student would trade access to $4000 in debt (at 0% interest while enrolled in university) and $2232 in tax breaks for $4000 in RESP contributions. Thus, through the Liberal Learning Passport, the student would have less income at their disposal while enrolled in post-secondary education but would graduate with 1/8 less in debt.

    Student loans are calculated to meet the student%E2%80%99s financial needs from when their studies begin in September to their end in April. Students of little means, who rely on the current tax rebate to assist in the transition from their studies to summer employment, will have to rely on other less favorable means such as student lines of credit (with interest at market rates) to make up for this $558 annual shortfall.

  7. The Liberal Learning Passport is an inefficient means to address the issue of rising tuitions and mounting student debt. The Liberal Party has stated that the Liberal Learning Passport will be paid for through an increase in corporate income tax. Increases in corporate income tax will bring relatively little to federal coffers and will adversely affect provincial revenue which is dependent upon the various taxes placed on employers and employees. It is the provinces who fund our post-secondary institutions and any impact on provincial revenue will adversely affect their ability to subsidize tuition through post-secondary institutions.

    The federal government should not focus its efforts on assisting students in the repayment of debt; it should instead focus on decreasing tuition, the cause of mounting student debt. The focus of any education platform should be on the reduction of tuition through the provinces which are responsible for funding our nation's post-secondary institutions.

  8. The Liberal Learning Passport is an inefficient means to address the issue of rising tuitions and mounting student debt. The Liberal Party has stated that the Liberal Learning Passport will be paid for through an increase in corporate income tax. Increases in corporate income tax will bring relatively little to federal coffers and will adversely affect provincial revenue which is dependent upon the various taxes placed on employers and employees. It is the provinces who fund our post-secondary institutions and any impact on provincial revenue will adversely affect their ability to subsidize tuition through post-secondary institutions.

    The federal government should not focus its efforts on assisting students in the repayment of debt; it should instead focus on decreasing tuition, the cause of mounting student debt. The focus of any education platform should be on the reduction of tuition through the provinces which are responsible for funding our nation%E2%80%99s post-secondary institutions.

  9. No, it's exactly the right reason. A move in the right direction.

    42 per cent of adults and 39 per cent of youth lack the literacy skills to get a good job and cope with the demands of today's knowledge society. StatsCan

  10. You are wrong. It doesn't count as income. It doesnt effect access to loans or other grants.

  11. Ironically, these people are almost certainly not the people who will be helped by the Passport to Education.

  12. No you are wrong call your bank and ask them. They will confirm that RESPs are considered income in Canada Student Loans assessment of an applicant's financial need.

  13. No you are wrong call your bank and ask them. They will confirm that RESPs are considered income in Canada Student Loans assessment of an applicant%E2%80%99s financial need.

  14. No, it helps ensure we don't add to the problem.

  15. No, it helps ensure we don't add to the problem.

  16. No, spending federal money on student debt is a move in the wrong direction. The reason why post-secondary education is unaffordable is because of rising tuition. Contributing to the repayment of student debt does nothing to address the cause of that debt. If you want marginalized individuals to attend post-secondary institutions you make it more affordable by decreasing tuition.

    The Liberal Party would rather spend finite federal resources on bailing out the ship instead of repairing the expanding hole from which the water surges.

  17. I'm a firm believer in 'free' education….but since we can't afford that right now, this is a step in the right direction.

  18. The party has specifically stated that the Learning Passport will not count towards your RESP total.

  19. Federal Governments have no control over Tuition. Only Provincial governments do. If they tried to directly impact this area, the Provinces would start screaming about "intrusion on their domain" so they only way to work federally is from the back end.

  20. You don't save a sinking ship by bailing it out you address the source of the leak. Providing funds to the provinces to address skyrocketing tuitions is the correct course of action. This avenue already exists; there is no need to create an unwieldy bureaucracy to implement this course of action; and this directly addresses the source of mounting student debt, ever escalating post-secondary tuitions.

  21. Providing funds to the provinces to address skyrocketing tuitions

    Ignoring the backlash from provinces every time the feds attempt to place conditions on transfers of cash to programs that are their direct domain, this just results in the provinces using the money to maintain the status quo and use the difference to cut their own tax rates. To quote Paul Wells, "It turns out that if you ask one level of government if they'd like a higher one to tax the populace on their behalf and hand them the cash, the answer is: 'YES!''

  22. Providing funds to the provinces to address skyrocketing tuitions

    Ignoring the backlash from provinces every time the feds attempt to place conditions on transfers of cash to programs that are their direct domain, this just results in the provinces using the money to maintain the status quo and use the difference to cut their own tax rates. To quote Paul Wells, "It turns out that if you ask one level of government if they'd like a higher one to tax the populace on their behalf and hand them the cash, the answer is: 'YES!''

  23. I realize you want 'Nirvana now', but reality dictates otherwise.

    This is the first serious effort to move us towards more education for the individual, so I will vote for it.

    Plus, it's a direct effort….not filtered through provinces who often have their own ideas about where to spend federal money.

  24. I realize you want 'Nirvana now', but reality dictates otherwise.

    This is the first serious effort to move us towards more education for the individual, so I will vote for it.

    Plus, it's a direct effort….not filtered through provinces who often have their own ideas about where to spend federal money.

  25. Yes they have. They responded to this issue the same day by pointing out that the money, in coming directly from the federal government with no requirement for matching funds from the family, will not be allowed to be held against family income calculations for the purposes CSL's. it's simply being stored in the existing RESP system because, well, it's there so they might as well use it.

    Considering the Feds also set the rules for CSL's, that shouldn't be a problem to implement.

  26. Yes, the provinces are going to cry foul over federal funds contributing to their present subsidization of post-secondary tuition. Hardly, no province would ever turn away federal funds.

  27. Cut it out Atchison. You can argue your point without distorting the facts. Administering this through the existing RESP programme doesn't set up an unweidly bureaucracy. The programme is in effect a tuition reduction measure. Futhermore i'm told that keeping a lid on tuition [ which i would prefer, it being simple and equitable] is not the way to go unless you want the institutions to stagnate. Admit it. This is a money in the hands of students programme that Harper would have no problem with had he come up with it first. It is simply the libs outflanking the CPC. It's about time they woke up.

  28. Cut it out Atchison. You can argue your point without distorting the facts. Administering this through the existing RESP programme doesn't set up an unweidly bureaucracy. The programme is in effect a tuition reduction measure. Futhermore i'm told that keeping a lid on tuition [ which i would prefer, it being simple and equitable] is not the way to go unless you want the institutions to stagnate. Admit it. This is a money in the hands of students programme that Harper would have no problem with had he come up with it first. It is simply the libs outflanking the CPC. It's about time they woke up.

    • "Futhermore i'm told that keeping a lid on tuition [ which i would prefer, it being simple and equitable] is not the way to go unless you want the institutions to stagnate"

      Yes, capping tuition does cause institutions to stagnate. However, subsidizing the cost of tuition and capping it are not the same. The subsidization of tuition promotes institutional growth as lower tuitions encourage increased enrollment. As you have stated reducing tuition is "simple and equitable" as it applies to all students including foreign students (which generate the greatest revenue).

      • Fair enough.Good point. I'm in favour of the broadest, simplest most equitable method of reducing the cost of getting an education – it is not really a partisn political issue for me. But it has been pointed out there are inherent difficulties with just giving the provinces the money. Remember that memorable occasion Ralph took the feds money and bought a bunch of new lawn mowers and other goodies.
        I have to say i also like the idea of the money following the student. It also side steps the issue of giving the provinces money that is earmarked for education and winds up invested in lawn mowers or tax cuts.

  29. Its not surprising that Ignatieff doesn't know how Canada Student Loans interact with RESPs he's the one who annouced that he fired Andre Forbes although there's nothing in the law that allows a party to remove a confirmed candidate. And because Forbes isn't resigning, the Liberals can't run another candidate in the riding.

  30. Its not surprising that Ignatieff doesn't know how Canada Student Loans interact with RESPs he's the one who annouced that he fired Andre Forbes although there%E2%80%99s nothing in the law that allows a party to remove a confirmed candidate. And because Forbes isn't resigning, the Liberals can%E2%80%99t run another candidate in the riding.

  31. No, but the funds won't always go where the feds want it to.

    I've seen too much money diverted to such things as hockey rinks in order to raise a local politician's popularity

    Try to make the provinces accountable for it, and you have screams of federal interference in provincial jurisdiction.

  32. No, but the funds won't always go where the feds want it to.

    I've seen too much money diverted to such things as hockey rinks in order to raise a local politician's popularity

    Try to make the provinces accountable for it, and you have screams of federal interference in provincial jurisdiction.

    • Directing funds to post-secondary institutions is not the same as sending it to some vague infrastructure development fund. In most cases the province already pays the majority of post-secondary costs through operational grants. Avenues for post-secondary funding are already well established and could be utilized to reduce tuition.

      • No, it can go into repairing brickwork instead of helping students with tuition though.

  33. Au contriare…$6000 for poor students. Not enough. But it's a start.

  34. Ignatieff can fire people by not signing….or ripping up….nomination papers

    And before you get off on the entire campaign, let's return this to the topic of education.

  35. Au contriare…$6000 for poor students. Not enough. But it's a start.

  36. Yes they are considered income currently. So if you got a space/time machine, traveled into an alternate future where the Liberals have implemented this program, and then came back to the present and told the government about your time travel income it could count against your student loan.

    If the Liberals implement this they will have to pass legislation, and said legislation would ensure that it will not count as income, just like past changes to the system.

  37. Pop quiz: Which level of government sets tuition rates?

  38. "Futhermore i'm told that keeping a lid on tuition [ which i would prefer, it being simple and equitable] is not the way to go unless you want the institutions to stagnate"

    Yes, capping tuition does cause institutions to stagnate. However, subsidizing the cost of tuition and capping it are not the same. The subsidization of tuition promotes institutional growth as lower tuitions encourage increased enrollment. As you have stated reducing tuition is "simple and equitable" as it applies to all students including foreign students (which generate the greatest revenue).

  39. The university board of governors sets tuition rates although some provinces such as Nova Scotia put caps on tuition increases.

  40. The university board of governors sets tuition rates although some provinces such as Nova Scotia put caps on tuition increases.

  41. That only works if Forbes hasn't been confirmed as a candidate which he has.

  42. Directing funds to post-secondary institutions is not the same as sending it to some vague infrastructure development fund. In most cases the province already pays the majority of post-secondary costs through operational grants. Avenues for post-secondary funding are already well established and could be utilized to reduce tuition.

  43. No, it can go into repairing brickwork instead of helping students with tuition though.

  44. Fair enough.Good point. I'm in favour of the broadest, simplest most equitable method of reducing the cost of getting an education – it is not really a partisn political issue for me. But it has been pointed out there are inherent difficulties with just giving the provinces the money. Remember that memorable occasion Ralph took the feds money and bought a bunch of new lawn mowers and other goodies.
    I have to say i also like the idea of the money following the student. It also side steps the issue of giving the provinces money that is earmarked for education and winds up invested in lawn mowers or tax cuts.

  45. Emily,
    Throwing around money for student education is the wrong approach to the problem. free education is the wrong approach to the problem. Lower tuition fees is the wrong approach to the problem.
    The correct approach to the problem is to establish a six year undergraduate program through the co-op model.
    Students must get jobs in the field they are studying for a specified number of hours, weeks months etc.
    If the students earn a degree rather than have it given to them they will be generally be better off in terms of self worth and work experience.
    My son did a co-op program which he was able to finance 75% of his tuition, books, room and board. When he graduated he was very proud of his accomplishment. He had job offers flowing in because over 5 years he had 2.5 years of experience.
    Emily, Stop looking for the government to give you something for nothing. Work hard and earn your way through life. When I went through University I went "to the woods" and cut pulpwood evert day that I wasn't in school. During my last year I took off Christmas Day and 1/2 of New years Day.
    I graduated with an honors degree…. paid for it with my own money… and did not have a student loan.

  46. This idea makes more sense than anything I have heard on the subject for a long time. The problem is, in Canada, people typically don't like, or they fear, change. People would scream that school should be 4 years, that we are destroying the system, etc. It is just like health care. We all know it is broken, but we won't support anyone who wants to fix it. We are afraid of the change.
    Because people are so ignorant of the facts behind the issues, they consistently vote for a politician who promises the they will fix the problem by spending more money on it, or create a new program to deal with it, etc. This will continue, until we are broke, like some of the countries in Europe – of this I have no doubt.
    I wish I could have a higher opinion of the ability of the electorate to see the dangers that lie ahead of us, but from what I have seen, on the posts on this website, I sadly can't say that I do. I consistently hear praise for any politician who promises to spend more. I consistently hear people who say that they will vote for their own self interest, not what is good for the country as a whole, or what is good for the country long term. I rarely see a post such as yours, from someone who objectively looks at a problem, and uses facts and logic to come up with a solution. I hope that this idea can gain some momentum.

  47. Well good for you….bootstraps and all that…however we went through all these same arguments with elementary and secondary levels of school….and yet by providing them free we improved society immeasurably, and moved forward.

    Since we are now into the knowledge age we don't have time for rehashing the old arguments….tertiary levels must be funded as well. Undergraduate degrees are now entry level….they are what high school used to be….we'll need more beyond that to compete in a globalizing world.

  48. Emily, I would love to hear how this would be funded. It would be enormously expensive.

  49. Why are people giving you a thumbs down? All you did was the math. . . .

  50. We'd fund universal education the same way we fund universal healthcare.

    And we'd stop wasting money on things we DON'T need.

    It's a reallocation of funds.

  51. We'd fund universal education the same way we fund universal healthcare.

    And we'd stop wasting money on things we DON'T need.

    It's a reallocation of funds.

    • That's another problem; we can't afford to fund universal health care (and what we have right now isn't all that great), and social security (unfunded – baby-boomers) is going to make us broke. What exactly can we cut that would enable all of this?

      • Oh I dunno….fighterplanes? Oil company subsidies?

        Billions right there.

        • please describe to me what an 'oil company subsidy' is. I am quite sure that there is no law pertaining to that, yet you and Jack Layton seem to think it is a fact. The companies that have special subsidies are mostly manufacturing and that is in Ontario, as well as farmers. I have yet to hear JL attack subsidies that really exist, which he won't, because those folks are his major voting base.
          You have commented a lot on military spending, and I would love to hear, if you were PM, what your level of military spending would be. I am starting to think that you would cut our military entirely. Would we depend on good will, or the US, to protect us?

          • The most recent data, based on government figures, show that the industry receives $1.4 billion annually in federal tax breaks. The groups, including Sierra Legal, Friends of the Earth Canada, the Pembina Institute, and Charles Caccia of the Centre for Environmentally Sustainable Development, demanded that the government eliminate the so-called 'perverse' subsidies because they promote environmentally harmful activities. >>>>A similar call to eliminate these subsidies was made by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2000.<<<<
            http://www.pembina.org/media-release/1242

            As to our 'protection'……from what?

  52. Undergraduate degrees are only entry level now because the value in a University degree has dropped massively over the last several decades. The number of useless degrees has ballooned, and the quality of graduates has dropped massively. This is mostly because our governments are focused on making sure more students are enrolled in University, but not supplying them with the funding to properly educate those students. Iggy's "solution" will only amplify this problem.

    Unless the only goal is to have as many B.A.'s in the country as possible. If that's the case, then we should just hand out B.A.'s after high-school graduation.

  53. Countries in Europe didn't go broke because of education…in Greece avoiding taxes is a national sport. Banks lending more money than the GDP….wasting money on massive militaries etc. that's what did it.

    It's a blind spot we have to get past.

  54. It has nothing to do with what rightwingers like to call 'useless degrees'….there is no such thing.

    We simply have more people with undergrad degrees now….so to stand out from the crowd people move up to Masters and PhDs.

    Same way as people went on to university in the first place years ago….to distinguish themselves from those with only a high school diploma.

    It's a natural progression, and a good thing.

  55. It has nothing to do with what rightwingers like to call 'useless degrees'….there is no such thing.

    We simply have more people with undergrad degrees now….so to stand out from the crowd people move up to Masters and PhDs.

    Same way as people went on to university in the first place years ago….to distinguish themselves from those with only a high school diploma.

    It's a natural progression, and a good thing.

  56. That's another problem; we can't afford to fund universal health care (and what we have right now isn't all that great), and social security (unfunded – baby-boomers) is going to make us broke. What exactly can we cut that would enable all of this?

  57. Oh I dunno….fighterplanes? Oil company subsidies?

    Billions right there.

  58. I have heard some people say that 'the military' is a huge waste of taxpayer funds. That is probably true in the US (but we love to live right next to them, all safe and secure) but it probably isn't so in Europe. Feel free to research. You will find that the biggest expenditures of any almost any contry are Social Services, Education, Health, and Debt.
    You state Greece, and not paying taxes as the problem. You fail to mention the myriad of social programs all of the countries have. The lower retirement age. The retirement income that they receive. The list goes on.
    If you think that the state can pay for everything, you need to look no further than Europe to see that you are wrong. The belief in 'entitlements' is coming to an end.
    You are right, they didn't go broke because of education, it was a combination of many government programs.
    Once we get our deficit down, we should work on paying down our debt. In order to do that, we will, as Canadians, have to have a frank discussion of what has to change in gov't. Once that is done, we can sit down, and structure the govt as we need, with an eye on the future. Until the debt is gone, the debate over where we spend is a waste of time. We should be talking about where we can save.

  59. Well you don't have to go by 'what some people say', you can look it up for yourself.

    $20 billion bucks is a lot of money to spend on our military.

    The US keeps us 'safe and secure'? From what? The only country that's ever invaded us is…..the US.

    In the EU, each country has a military…massive waste of money.

    Of course they have social programmes…..so does the US. The US just doesn't run theirs very well, and are having to tighten their belts along with Europe.

    No the EU has problems for the reasons I stated….don't try to palm your ideology off on me cuz I'm not buying it.

    When Martin was PM, we didn't have a deficit…we had a surplus. And we'd paid a huge chunk off on the debt…..then your buddy Harper came along.

    We won't eliminate the debt…we've had a debt since year one….so has the US

    Wingers have been talking about 'saving' money forever…then they get in and spend like drunken sailors.

  60. please describe to me what an 'oil company subsidy' is. I am quite sure that there is no law pertaining to that, yet you and Jack Layton seem to think it is a fact. The companies that have special subsidies are mostly manufacturing and that is in Ontario, as well as farmers. I have yet to hear JL attack subsidies that really exist, which he won't, because those folks are his major voting base.
    You have commented a lot on military spending, and I would love to hear, if you were PM, what your level of military spending would be. I am starting to think that you would cut our military entirely. Would we depend on good will, or the US, to protect us?

  61. The most recent data, based on government figures, show that the industry receives $1.4 billion annually in federal tax breaks. The groups, including Sierra Legal, Friends of the Earth Canada, the Pembina Institute, and Charles Caccia of the Centre for Environmentally Sustainable Development, demanded that the government eliminate the so-called 'perverse' subsidies because they promote environmentally harmful activities. >>>>A similar call to eliminate these subsidies was made by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2000.<<<<
    http://www.pembina.org/media-release/1242

    As to our 'protection'……from what?

  62. $20 billion bucks is a lot of money to spend on our military. Sure, but to say that it is 'too much' would be an opinion, not a fact. Also, is that spent over 1 year, or many?

    The US keeps us 'safe and secure'? From what? The only country that's ever invaded us is…..the US. What does this even mean? We can spend nothing on our military, because only one country ever invaded us, and won't do so again? Or do you mean that we should spend more on our military, as 'the only country that's ever invaded us' is amassing a huge military?

    In the EU, each country has a military…massive waste of money. You are right – waste of money. There has never been a war in Europe, so to have an army is a waste. This is your best point of the day.

    Of course they have social programs…..so does the US. The US just doesn't run theirs very well, and are having to tighten their belts along with Europe. Every country has social programs. The question is how they are run, are they too extravagant, and how are they funded. When you mentioned Greece, and the fact that they are great at not paying taxes, you prove the point. Their mindset it 'the gov't can pay for everything'. They are finding out that it can't

    No the EU has problems for the reasons I stated….don't try to palm your ideology off on me cuz I'm not buying it. Emily, it not ideology, it is economic and political fact. You are not 'not buying it', you are ignoring fact. You state that they are bankrupt because that the banks lent more than GDP(?), and military spending are the cause. If that were so, please explain why left-leaning governments are cutting, and they are aggressively cutting the bloated welfare state? Of course they are cutting the military, but the real fat is in the social programs. And when did they do it, when they were forced to. No politician can cut social programs and still get reelected, because people like you see them as sacred. (ideology)

    When Martin was PM, we didn't have a deficit…we had a surplus. And we'd paid a huge chunk off on the debt…..then your buddy Harper came along. So you you say that we can pay the debt off, if we all work together….

    We won't eliminate the debt…we've had a debt since year one….so has the US. I guess the answer to my above question is 'no'. But the truth is, we can pay off the debt, if we all agree that paying interest on money we already spent is something we no longer want to do. Then think of the social programs we could have. :)

    Wingers have been talking about 'saving' money forever…then they get in and spend like drunken sailors. I have said it before, I will say it again, and you won't understand it any time. The CPC has to make each and every bill appeal to at least one party. That means that they have to implement their own policies, AND add in something that will appeal to one of the other parties. That gets expensive, but at the same time, you can't 'blame' the CPC, exclusively, for any bill that passed. And yet you will, regardless of fact.

  63. As long as you insist on living in the past, with the ideology to match it, you aren't going to understand the global world we now inhabit.

    But it's nice to know you're prepared for WWII

  64. As long as you insist on living in the past, with the ideology to match it, you aren't going to understand the global world we now inhabit.

    But it's nice to know you're prepared for WWII

    • That doesn't even make sense . . .

      • Not to you it doesn't.

        It will to your children and grandchildren.

        • I'm insulted. Are you insinuating that my grandchildren will be stoners? I pray that they don't do drugs. . .

          • I'm assuming that away from your influence they'll be conscious thinking human beings.

          • I think my post below addresses this nicely . . .

    • And I would point out that you didn't even try to rebut any comment that I made. . .

      • Your mind is already made up, and you're not open to discussion.

        I don't see much point talking to a brick wall mindset

        • I am open to discussion, which is why I am discussing. From this I have found out that you believe that no government or country needs a military. I find that extremely interesting.

          Every intelligent comment or point that you have made I have answered with intelligence and respect.

          We both have opinions, and I will say that I am pretty set in my beliefs, but I could say the same thing about you. The reason I post here is that I like hearing all sides of a debate, and I am always willing to be persuaded to change my mind. I do, however, dislike the fact that people post opinion as if it were fact, that they claim stats that don't exist, that they insult and slam people, and basically do anything they want, all to advance their position. I don't agree with a lot of what Ignatieff and Layton say, but I use their real names. I even defend them if people insult them. I say ideas are fine to attack, people aren't.
          The people who do that are cowards. They aren't the people who want to better their country, and become politicians. Politician pay a high price for what they do, and the least we could do is respect that with a little decorum and truth.
          I would respectably submit that your above post is the cat calling the kettle black . . .

          • The EU has 27 member states and all of them have a military….lots of it is the latest stuff too. It's tremendously wasteful, especially since the original idea was to prevent the third civil war in Europe. WWI and II taught them that.

            So if they're going to be a union, they should be one….scrap the multitude of militaries and have one EU force.

            As to Canada it's not defendable. We're the second largest country on the planet, with the longest coastline. We can't ring our coasts with soldiers….or ships….and fighterplanes are useless. Any country able to attack us would just press a button, and the missiles would be here before our pilots could scramble. Planes can't take out an ICBM in any case.

            So unless we want to invest $2T or so in a missile system…

            Plus…it's going in the wrong direction…we are globalizing, and the last thing we need to keep financing is 200 countries with 200 militaries, and armed barriers everyplace. We need to trade with each other, not attack each other

            The IMF says there is a $3.6 Trillion 'Wall' of Debt in the world.

            Do we still keep wasting money on things we don't need?

          • Plus the nature of war has changed….for all their vastly expensive, state of the art military…the US hasn't won anything since Japan…and they had to use nukes to even do that. Cuba, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya…all disasters.Even when they had help.

            There are now only 2 ways to wage war….nuclear missiles….which is suicide, and guerrilla warfare…which we are totally unable to do.

            What govts can do for their countries is ensure healthcare, education, pensions and so on…the 'govt' doesn't pay for it…we do…and we can afford it if we want to. We just have to stop wasting money on things that don't work anymore.

          • First of all, thank you for the well thought out reply.
            I think on this one we can agree to disagree. I think every country needs and deserves a military.
            The EU is an economic coalition, and thought it might happen in the very far off future, they will not have a single military any time soon. There is not enough trust for that.
            You are right that were cannot defend every square inch of coastline, and we cannot stop a nuclear missile (I am quite sure that the states has some coverage for that – those nice guys). That does not mean that we don't need an army. If you remember the FLQ crisis, it was needed. What if we had 300 boats of refugees decide to land on Vancouver Island, because they heard we had no navy or army. How do you stop them. Then we get to peacekeeping – is it a waste of money – that can be debated. Before I send Canadians into these area's, though, I think they should be ready for it. What about Lybia? Do we help there, and if so, with what? What if we found out a commercial plan was loaded with biological weapons, and was headed to Toronto. We have the time to blow it out of the air (bad for the folks on board, I know), if we only had a jet plane. The list goes on.
            As far as globalizing, you are right, but that hasn't brought the world a lot of peace. There are probably more wars being fought right now, than at any time in the history of the world. (Haven't checked that stat in a while, but was true a couple of years ago.) When peace comes, we can throw down our weapons. We have radicals that have made seriousness threats against Canada – these people are alive today. If we had no army, what would we do?

            We agree we are wasting money on things we don't need – we just disagree what things those are. :)

          • Countries used to need militaries, but future wars will be cyberwars and economic wars…not ones with ships and planes. Except for some minor brush fires, that era has passed. The world is actually more peaceful now than it has ever been.

            The EU has done very well trying to get 27 countries together, especially countries with 2000 years of warfare between them. Eventually they'll figure out the military part. They are much more than just 'economic' now.

            Americans are not 'nice guys' nor are they friends. They invaded us 5X…and when that didn't work, they tried other means. They still go by the old 'countries don't have friends, they have interests'….but the time for that is also past. The US is the last country to catch on to 'globalization'….but while Bush was being a dumbass, the world changed. You can do a lot in 8 years, and the US is only now just realizing it.

          • I appreciate that you really believe what you write, but I am sorry, I still see the need for a military. China alone is worth it. (we have lots of natural resources – including water)
            Peacekeeping isn't what we are, it is a nice thing we do.
            A plane can be filled with biological weapons, and crashed into something, thus spreading the weapon.
            Globalizing may have already just begun, but your vision of all the countries sitting together singing Kumbaya is wrong. It is more likely we will be having wars over oil, food, and water before too long.
            Radicals are a threat, and while they are not currently a country, they certainly plan to take one over (Pakistan, India), which both have nukes.
            We have not forgotten about health, education, and pensions, we have just messed them up. Interesting that you mention the 50's, because the 60 is when we started to mess it all up.

            Here are a couple of links you probably won't like, but they are interesting.
            http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2011/03/eat-
            http://www.mint.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/

          • This is not a matter of faith…it's a matter of reality.

            China hasn't attacked anyone in 5000 years, and there is no need to do so now. They have plenty of water.

            No, biological weapons cannot be dropped from a plane.

            I said nothing about singing Kumbaya…there will be lots of squabbles yet, but we have moved from tribes to regions to countries to blocks…and the next move is planetary.

            One world, one race.. human… no borders.

            Radicals aren't about to 'take over' any country…tiny bands of malcontents are not a threat.

            Nothing happened in the 60s beyone the normal progress from the decade before. Did you think the world was Beaver Cleaver forever?

            PS Reading crackpot American sites is dangerous to your mental health. This is a country that tossed up Palin, Bachman, Huckabee and Trump in one year.

          • I have to ask: do you read the news? I see that you like this site, I would also suggest that you subscribe to 'The Economist' – probably the best source for news in the world.
            Many diplomatic experts are very worried about China. They have many reasons to attack many countries.
            "Both chemical and biological agents can be delivered by a variety of means including dispersal via explosive devices (chemical or bio-bombs), mechanical devices such as crop dusting aircraft, mosquito control trucks, or garden spray devices, or dispersal through a building's water or ventilation system." Earthmountainview.com
            Again, the idea of us getting a global world govt' is incredibly far from here, and poses as many risks as problem that it promises to fix. We can't agree on issues in a country the size of Canada, how could we do it on a global scale. It would probably look a lot like China. . .
            Again, read the news. Radicals are trying to take over many countries.
            Nothing to do with the Cleavers – I was talking entitlements.
            The video might be from a crackpot site (don't know – the video was all I watched), but the content was thought provoking. The other site looked to be a factual analysis of how the gov't money is spent – how can that be crackpot? To dismiss anything that comes out of the states, just because it comes out of the states, you must admit is quite ignorant.

          • Given the field I'm in, being up on the news is mandatory.

            The Economist is known as the Anglo-Saxon Bible, and it's extremely biased….anything read in that has to keep that in mind.

            They also deal in fear, and scare-stories….the idea is to keep the 'west' in power, and at the moment it's slowly ebbing away…so they boost the fear-factor.

            To wit, your fear your lawn sprinkler may turn on you. LOL

            Chemical and biological agent are not as easily dispersed as all that….biological ones in particular tend to die when exposed to air, water, cold and so on. And none of it is doable on a large enough basis to constitute war. Any nutbar, for any cause, can create a problem in a small area…and is easily resolvable.

            Most of our problems today are global….financial, drugs, climate, 'terrorism' etc….and can only be solved at the global level. We will eventually have world govt simply because we have to. Instead of fearing it, we need to be working it out.

            There aren't any 'radicals' trying to take over govt….there are some countries with democracy movements trying to oust dictators though.

            I dismiss crackpot sites because they're crackpot. When you're dealing with something like national budgets you need something factual…not crackpot. Americans have a lot of crackpot sites.

  65. That doesn't even make sense . . .

  66. Not to you it doesn't.

    It will to your children and grandchildren.

  67. I'm insulted. Are you insinuating that my grandchildren will be stoners? I pray that they don't do drugs. . .

  68. And I would point out that you didn't even try to rebut any comment that I made. . .

  69. I'm assuming that away from your influence they'll be conscious thinking human beings.

  70. Your mind is already made up, and you're not open to discussion.

    I don't see much point talking to a brick wall mindset

  71. I am open to discussion, which is why I am discussing. From this I have found out that you believe that no government or country needs a military. I find that extremely interesting.

    Every intelligent comment or point that you have made I have answered with intelligence and respect.

    We both have opinions, and I will say that I am pretty set in my beliefs, but I could say the same thing about you. The reason I post here is that I like hearing all sides of a debate, and I am always willing to be persuaded to change my mind. I do, however, dislike the fact that people post opinion as if it were fact, that they claim stats that don't exist, that they insult and slam people, and basically do anything they want, all to advance their position. I don't agree with a lot of what Ignatieff and Layton say, but I use their real names. I even defend them if people insult them. I say ideas are fine to attack, people aren't.
    The people who do that are cowards. They aren't the people who want to better their country, and become politicians. Politician pay a high price for what they do, and the least we could do is respect that with a little decorum and truth.
    I would respectably submit that your above post is the cat calling the kettle black . . .

  72. I think my post below addresses this nicely . . .

  73. The EU has 27 member states and all of them have a military….lots of it is the latest stuff too. It's tremendously wasteful, especially since the original idea was to prevent the third civil war in Europe. WWI and II taught them that.

    So if they're going to be a union, they should be one….scrap the multitude of militaries and have one EU force.

    As to Canada it's not defendable. We're the second largest country on the planet, with the longest coastline. We can't ring our coasts with soldiers….or ships….and fighterplanes are useless. Any country able to attack us would just press a button, and the missiles would be here before our pilots could scramble. Planes can't take out an ICBM in any case.

    So unless we want to invest $2T or so in a missile system…

    Plus…it's going in the wrong direction…we are globalizing, and the last thing we need to keep financing is 200 countries with 200 militaries, and armed barriers everyplace. We need to trade with each other, not attack each other

    The IMF says there is a $3.6 Trillion 'Wall' of Debt in the world.

    Do we still keep wasting money on things we don't need?

  74. Plus the nature of war has changed….for all their vastly expensive, state of the art military…the US hasn't won anything since Japan…and they had to use nukes to even do that. Cuba, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya…all disasters.Even when they had help.

    There are now only 2 ways to wage war….nuclear missiles….which is suicide, and guerrilla warfare…which we are totally unable to do.

    What govts can do for their countries is ensure healthcare, education, pensions and so on…the 'govt' doesn't pay for it…we do…and we can afford it if we want to. We just have to stop wasting money on things that don't work anymore.

  75. First of all, thank you for the well thought out reply.
    I think on this one we can agree to disagree. I think every country needs and deserves a military.
    The EU is an economic coalition, and thought it might happen in the very far off future, they will not have a single military any time soon. There is not enough trust for that.
    You are right that were cannot defend every square inch of coastline, and we cannot stop a nuclear missile (I am quite sure that the states has some coverage for that – those nice guys). That does not mean that we don't need an army. If you remember the FLQ crisis, it was needed. What if we had 300 boats of refugees decide to land on Vancouver Island, because they heard we had no navy or army. How do you stop them. Then we get to peacekeeping – is it a waste of money – that can be debated. Before I send Canadians into these area's, though, I think they should be ready for it. What about Lybia? Do we help there, and if so, with what? What if we found out a commercial plan was loaded with biological weapons, and was headed to Toronto. We have the time to blow it out of the air (bad for the folks on board, I know), if we only had a jet plane. The list goes on.
    As far as globalizing, you are right, but that hasn't brought the world a lot of peace. There are probably more wars being fought right now, than at any time in the history of the world. (Haven't checked that stat in a while, but was true a couple of years ago.) When peace comes, we can throw down our weapons. We have radicals that have made seriousness threats against Canada – these people are alive today. If we had no army, what would we do?

    We agree we are wasting money on things we don't need – we just disagree what things those are. :)

  76. Countries used to need militaries, but future wars will be cyberwars and economic wars…not ones with ships and planes. Except for some minor brush fires, that era has passed. The world is actually more peaceful now than it has ever been.

    The EU has done very well trying to get 27 countries together, especially countries with 2000 years of warfare between them. Eventually they'll figure out the military part. They are much more than just 'economic' now.

    Americans are not 'nice guys' nor are they friends. They invaded us 5X…and when that didn't work, they tried other means. They still go by the old 'countries don't have friends, they have interests'….but the time for that is also past. The US is the last country to catch on to 'globalization'….but while Bush was being a dumbass, the world changed. You can do a lot in 8 years, and the US is only now just realizing it.

    We didn't need an army for the FLQ….it's just that the 'war measures act' was all we had at the time. A sledgehammer to kill a fly. It was tossed, years ago.

    We don't stop refugees…we have a treaty with the UN to take them….and in any case we can't stop them. There are 50 million on the move at the moment, and all countries will get some, like it or not. We've always welcomed refugees…and we certainly need them

    Peacekeeping is what we do….it's what we are. We may certainly have to step between 2 warring factions and 'make the peace' first….but then we keep it, until it's sorted out at the political level. The world needs more peacekeepers.

    Biological weapons can't be loaded on a plane and dropped…and in any case Canada isn't under attack. It isn't going to be attacked. There is no one that wants to attack us.

    Globalizing has only just begun, and since we are in the 'displacement' stage, it isn't going to bring about world peace overnight.

    'Radicals' aren't a threat…we've always had radicals…so has every other country. The UK survived the IRA, and Spain survived the Basques, Italy the Red Brigade and so on….these are small groups, not a country.

    However unless we concentrate on health, education, pensions etc….we will fall behind. This is no time to revert to the 50s….that world doesn't exist anymore.

  77. I appreciate that you really believe what you write, but I am sorry, I still see the need for a military. China alone is worth it. (we have lots of natural resources – including water)
    Peacekeeping isn't what we are, it is a nice thing we do.
    A plane can be filled with biological weapons, and crashed into something, thus spreading the weapon.
    Globalizing may have already just begun, but your vision of all the countries sitting together singing Kumbaya is wrong. It is more likely we will be having wars over oil, food, and water before too long.
    Radicals are a threat, and while they are not currently a country, they certainly plan to take one over (Pakistan, India), which both have nukes.
    We have not forgotten about health, education, and pensions, we have just messed them up. Interesting that you mention the 50's, because the 60 is when we started to mess it all up.

    Here are a couple of links you probably won't like, but they are interesting.
    http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2011/03/eat-
    http://www.mint.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/

  78. This is not a matter of faith…it's a matter of reality.

    China hasn't attacked anyone in 5000 years, and there is no need to do so now. They have plenty of water.

    No, biological weapons cannot be dropped from a plane.

    I said nothing about singing Kumbaya…there will be lots of squabbles yet, but we have moved from tribes to regions to countries to blocks…and the next move is planetary.

    One world, one race.. human… no borders.

    Radicals aren't about to 'take over' any country…tiny bands of malcontents are not a threat.

    Nothing happened in the 60s beyone the normal progress from the decade before. Did you think the world was Beaver Cleaver forever?

    PS Reading crackpot American sites is dangerous to your mental health. This is a country that tossed up Palin, Bachman, Huckabee and Trump in one year.

  79. I have to ask: do you read the news? I see that you like this site, I would also suggest that you subscribe to 'The Economist' – probably the best source for news in the world.
    Many diplomatic experts are very worried about China. They have many reasons to attack many countries.
    "Both chemical and biological agents can be delivered by a variety of means including dispersal via explosive devices (chemical or bio-bombs), mechanical devices such as crop dusting aircraft, mosquito control trucks, or garden spray devices, or dispersal through a building's water or ventilation system." Earthmountainview.com
    Again, the idea of us getting a global world govt' is incredibly far from here, and poses as many risks as problem that it promises to fix. We can't agree on issues in a country the size of Canada, how could we do it on a global scale. It would probably look a lot like China. . .
    Again, read the news. Radicals are trying to take over many countries.
    Nothing to do with the Cleavers – I was talking entitlements.
    The video might be from a crackpot site (don't know – the video was all I watched), but the content was thought provoking. The other site looked to be a factual analysis of how the gov't money is spent – how can that be crackpot? To dismiss anything that comes out of the states, just because it comes out of the states, you must admit is quite ignorant.

  80. Given the field I'm in, being up on the news is mandatory.

    The Economist is known as the Anglo-Saxon Bible, and it's extremely biased….anything read in that has to keep that in mind.

    They also deal in fear, and scare-stories….the idea is to keep the 'west' in power, and at the moment it's slowly ebbing away…so they boost the fear-factor.

    To wit, your fear your lawn sprinkler may turn on you. LOL

    Chemical and biological agent are not as easily dispersed as all that….biological ones in particular tend to die when exposed to air, water, cold and so on. And none of it is doable on a large enough basis to constitute war. Any nutbar, for any cause, can create a problem in a small area…and is easily resolvable.

    Most of our problems today are global….financial, drugs, climate, 'terrorism' etc….and can only be solved at the global level. We will eventually have world govt simply because we have to. Instead of fearing it, we need to be working it out.

    There aren't any 'radicals' trying to take over govt….there are some countries with democracy movements trying to oust dictators though.

    I dismiss crackpot sites because they're crackpot. When you're dealing with something like national budgets you need something factual…not crackpot. Americans have a lot of crackpot sites.

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