Student loans a campaign issue in BC? - Macleans.ca

Student loans a campaign issue in BC?

It could be if one Liberal leadership candidate has her way

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When you’re a relatively unknown politician running for the premiership of a province, you need to think outside of the box to get support.

At least, that’s one conclusion to be made from BC Liberal leadership candidate Moria Stilwell’s announcement that she would reduce the interest rate on student loans should she win the leadership race.

Currently, loan rates in BC are the highest in Canada at 2.5 per cent above prime rate. It’s an issue that UBC and UVic student unions, among others, are pushing because it’s seen as much more probable to achieve results on then say, tuition.

Of course, a cynic might ask why she didn’t push this policy herself when she was Minister of Post-Secondary Education last year. But still, the election of a new premier—which is what this leadership contest is—is a chance for interest groups to push their ideas forward in the hopes of getting some traction with the eventual winning candidate. Thus far, the only thing BC Young Liberals have achieved in this leadership race is getting a bachelor’s degree in petty squabbling. Here’s hoping in the months ahead they can manage to convince more of the candidates that post-secondary education can be a winning issue.