First official NDP leadership candidate wants to end tuition fees
The New Democratic Party’s first -- and so far only -- official candidate Peter Julian says he would work to make university, college and trades training tuition-free.
“We have to move forward and take off tuition fees so that we can actually provide access to post-secondary education, whether we’re talking about trades, or college or university,” Julian, 54, told CTV’s Power Play on Monday.
“Having that education opened up so that people aren’t going tens of thousands of dollars into debt is an important way that we can move this country forward,” Julian added.
It is not immediately clear how the proposal would work, considering that higher education and training is primarily funded by provincial governments and tuition fees.
Julian listed off other issues he said he “cares deeply about,” including homelessness, reconciliation with First Nations people and “national resources policies.”
“We’re not creating the good jobs, the value-added and manufacturing jobs that we need going forward,” he added.
Julian is MP for the suburban Vancouver riding of New Westminster-Burnaby, where he has been elected four times since 2004.
Other possible candidates
So far, Julian’s the only official candidate in the race to replace Tom Mulcair when New Democrats vote in October. The first debate is less than one month away, scheduled for March 12 in Ottawa.
However, there are at least three other people considering joining the race.
MP Charlie Angus, the 54-year-old MP who represents the northern Ontario riding of Timmins--James Bay, launched a website in January to collect input as he considers a run.
Ontario NDP Deputy Leader Jagmeet Singh, who represents the suburban Toronto riding of Bramalea—Gore—Malton, told CTV’s Your Morning last month that he’s “seriously considering” campaigning for the job.
Singh, 38, is drawing attention this week south of the border with a new interview in GQ, which calls him an “incredibly well-dressed rising star.” Singh told the magazine he got into politics in part because racism he experienced as a child made him “more sensitive and aware of the struggles people faced when it came to poverty, gender, and other systemic barriers.”
There is also a social media campaign to draft Niki Ashton, MP for Manitoba riding Churchill—Keewatinook Aski.
Ashton is also endorsed by the NDP Socialist Caucus. She recently said she was “in no rush” to make a decision.