On May 2nd, 2021, The Sally and Chuck Davis Club of the Communist Party of Canada issued a statement regarding the Newfoundland and Labrador tuition freeze on their Facebook page. They state that their club “rejects unequivocally the recommendation of the Public Post Secondary Education Review Committee that the tuition freeze existing in this province be removed. Their so-called model that ‘reflects and respects the priorities of the university and the province… and explicitly considers the true costs of supporting students being accepted into programs within the university’ can only translate as a tuition hike.” They state that this is especially the case now that the Liberal government seems likely to embrace austerity measures to address provincial debt.
They state that “Increasing tuition fees offloads ever more cost onto students, and despite the tuition freeze many students of MUN and CNA already graduate with extensive debt making it difficult to start making a living in the province.” They say that many young people already do not see a future in Newfoundland and Labrador and that an increase in the cost of post-secondary education will continue to push them away.
“We demand not merely a tuition freeze, but the elimination of tuition fees altogether.”Sally & Chuck Davis Club NL
“The Communist Party believes that free public education at all levels is a right – not a privilege. We demand not merely a tuition freeze, but the elimination of tuition fees altogether,” says the club. They state that it must be “free to all, including international students, and including textbook and lab costs, with stipends to cover students’ living expenses.” They make it clear that they support the elimination of all existing student debt. They also raise a point about Internship programs and that those who have interns should pay them. Furthermore, they issued a call for “increased funding and access to training and apprenticeship programs which includes providing tools for the trade free to apprentices.”
They ask the question, “Who pays for this in a province struggling with public debt?” They state that The Communist Party rejects public sector cuts. They offer the solution that the provincial government start stringent revenue-generating measures. They state that a part of this solution is to increase the corporate tax rate dramatically. Furthermore, to make changes to income tax collection to require those who can afford it to pay more.
They close with the statement, “The working people of this province have not created this financial crisis, and they do not deserve to pay for it.”
They then followed this up with statements on Twitter, such as tweeting that there is a “near guarantee that the working class and students will foot the bill for bourgeois avarice and bad governance. A bloated administration, lavish salaries and $17 million schmoozing budget to court the rich, MUN leadership’s priorities are clear: not with students or faculty.”
Matt Barter is a third-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.