New Brunswick — The controversial Tuition Access Bursary program will greatly benefit future generations of university students — or it would if any member of Generation Y could afford to have children in New Brunswick — according to a StatsCan survey of more than 1,000 recent graduates.
Gallant’s TAB program offers free tuition to university students whose families make under $60,000 annually; most survey respondents indicated that this would definitely be super useful for future New Brunswickers… who probably won’t be born and raised in the province because their would-be parents are burdened with too-great student loan debt.
“Back when we had the tuition tax rebate, I envisioned paying off my debt, getting married, having kids, settling down in New Brunswick — the whole nine yards,” said Brent Randall, a 27-year-old UNBSJ grad. “Unfortunately I’m barely breaking even at my call-centre job, and it would be irresponsible for me to have a family when I can’t even support myself, let alone save any money for the future. That said, it sure is nice of the Liberals to ensure the next generation will have easier access to education. Even if that generation never comes into actual existence, it’s still generous of the government to even think of it.”
Twenty-nine-year-old Mount A graduate Tina Robbins held a similar opinion. “I’m so sick of the negativity I see in some of my peers,” she said. “A lot of them are so darn realistic, when if we learned one thing in university, it’s that a positive attitude and a utopian mindset are things to be upheld in the face of so-called ‘facts.’
“No, I can never afford to have children — seriously, I’m paying my student loans with my credit card, and my dad pays that off every month — but I think if we instill strong values of positivity in our non-existent offspring, they’ll go far in life. Or non-life. Whatever.”
Sarah Hudson, 28, graduated from St. Thomas university in 2009 and said she’s grateful to the Gallant government for implementing the benevolent TAB program. “It won’t actually help me personally, but if I were in any position financially to have children, I’m sure those kids would appreciate the government’s generosity. Not that they’re ever going to exist because by the time I pay off my student loans, my child-bearing years will be a distant memory, but still.”
The Manatee asked Premier Gallant for his take on the issue.
“I do realize that recent grads are able to take advantage of neither the TAB program nor the tuition tax rebate, so they’re really getting shafted,” he said. “I guess in theory we should be catering to them, you know, since they’re at the age when people normally begin families of their own, and that’s precisely what New Brunswick needs: grad retention and those grads’ children to boost the economy.
“But imagine how great life will be for the next generation? OK, so maybe they won’t exist, but I bet they would love me if they did.”