A campaign is hard on a voice. Glenn Walton’s voice is quiet and raspy, he’s been doing a lot of talking. Today he’s talking about education.
According to the Halifax-Citadel NDP candidate, the biggest issue facing university students? Tuition.
“The cost of university, it’s not affordable for everybody,” he says.
The NDP plan is to reduce university tuition by 10 per cent, and make NSCC tuition free.
According to Walton, free tuition for NSCC students is a good, long-term plan.
“A lot of people who study at community colleges come from lower income backgrounds and this is a way to get them into the economy easier and quicker,” says Walton.
Which is definitely a good thing if the NSCC graduates stay home and are entering Nova Scotia’s economy. According to a NSCC graduate follow-up survey 90 percent of graduates remain in Nova Scotia and 88 percent of them join the workforce.
The long-term plan for tuition reduction goes like this: The NSCC has free tuition. NSCC attendance and graduation increases, those graduates stay in Nova Scotia. As they stay and work in Nova Scotia the economy grows, as the economy grows there’s more money to further decrease university tuition.
With the high cost of university, Walton thinks that a university education is still worth it.
“We have both a utilitarian need to be educated in something will give us work,” says Walton. “But at the same time, I don’t think that’s all that university is for. I think that there’s a certain value in a curriculum that also includes the humanities, arts, and literature because it teaches us what it means to be a human in society.”
Critical thinking and appreciation of the arts make better citizens. Better citizens lead to a better democracy. A general university education teaches that to students. Even if the program doesn’t have a specific career path, such as entering the medical or engineering disciplines, a university education is beneficial.
Policy making is a process. Partisan politics can mean that problems are approached in the wrong way, starting with the conclusion.
“One of things I’m particularly concerned about is getting beyond partisanship in politics,” says Walton. It’s hard because of parties and their core beliefs, “but I think we have a lot in common and I think the better idea is the better idea.”
It’s important for Walton that he could be an advocate for good ideas were he to be elected. He doesn’t mind being an outspoken advocate for a good idea.
“It’s not because the truth will prevail, always, because it doesn’t,” he said. “People are reasonable, I have faith in people.”
He believes that a compromise can always be reached.
The Nova Scotia Provincial Election is on Tuesday, May 30th from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Early voting locations are open this week:
Wednesday, May 24th: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday, May 25th: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday, May 26th: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 27th: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
To find out your electoral district and if Glenn Walton is a candidate you can vote for, look up your civic address on Elections Nova Scotia’s website here.