Greens would eliminate tuition
Kent E. Peterson
With a provincial election set for Nov. 7 of this year, the Green Party of Saskatchewan is putting forth policies and ideas that they hope will lead to the election of the first ever Green MLA in the province’s legislature. One of these ideas is aimed at strengthening the party’s support amongst young voters – specifically students.
Larissa Shasko heads the Green Party of Saskatchewan and has made it clear that, if elected, the Greens will move to eliminate tuition in Saskatchewan’s universities and colleges.
“A Green Party of Saskatchewan Government will establish a zero-tuition fee policy for post-secondary education,” said Shasko, noting that the party has had a zero-tuition fee policy since 1998. She said the party believes that post-secondary education is a basic right, and should be accessible to a larger number of people, “Education is the key to a better quality of living and economic health,” she said.
Even if the Greens do not form government after the next provincial election, Shasko stated the party will still have options to eliminate tuition for Saskatchewan students. If even a small number of Green MLAs are elected, Shasko said making post-secondary education free will be among their top priorities.
“[Green MLAs’] first acts of business will include introducing a private members bill to establish a zero-tuition fee policy for post-secondary education,” she said. “[The] private members bill for a zero-tuition fee policy will force debate in the house and hopefully result in the passing of this legislation.”
In addition to the zero-tuition fee policy, Shasko notes that the Greens will be focusing on some of their traditional issues as well.
“While the full list is quite extensive, some of the top issues we would take urgent action on include climate change and the environment, economic health, eliminating poverty, support for students, improving and protecting our public healthcare system,” Shasko said.
Other issues the Greens will focus on heading into the election are ones typically overlooked by the province’s two major parties. They include support for Saskatchewan artists, food security, restoring democracy, and stopping a nuclear waste dump from being located in the province.
Shasko maintains the Green Party of Saskatchewan advocates for such issues because they are directly linked to the party’s founding principles.
“We are a political party committed to environmental and social justice,” she said, adding, “The guiding principles of the Green Party of Saskatchewan are ecological wisdom; social and economic justice; participatory democracy; personal, social, and global responsibility; community-based economics; cooperation and mutual aid; respect for diversity; peace and non-violence; decentralization; and gender equity.”