KSA, ABCS Supportive of NDP-Green Coalition

Joseph Keller, Web Editor

Student organisations in B.C. are optimistic about what the cooperation between the B.C. NDP and B.C. Greens means for students in the province.

The two parties agreed to a partnership that will see them form a coalition government after the B.C. Liberal government failed to retain a majority of seats in the provincial legislation after the May 9 election. The agreement between the Greens and NDP contains several provisions that the Kwantlen Student Association considers to be good news for B.C. students.

The KSA sent out a press release on May 31 expressing support for the coalition and commending several of the parties’ joint policies.

“I am extremely excited that many sections of the NDP-Green agreement are wins for youth and students,” KSA Vice President External Affairs Caitlin McCutchen wrote in the press release.

The KSA goes on to commend the coalition’s promise to restore free tuition for adult basic education, a reversal of a controversial decision to charge tuition for the service by the B.C. Liberals in 2015. The KSA did, however, express disappointment for the lack of specific promises to relieve student debt. The KSA is also hopeful that the Green-NDP government will make significant investments into job training initiatives.

“Committing to a four-year investment into co-ops, work experience and internships for undergrads will help to improve employment options and reduce the likelihood of precarious work situations faced by most new graduates,” says McCutchen.

Alex McGowan, chair of the Alliance of B.C. Students, is also supportive of the incoming government. The ABCS has been pushing for the provincial government to reduce barriers keeping post secondary institutions in the province from building student housing facilities. Both the B.C. NDP and Greens have backed these initiatives.

“It’s fantastic and exciting that we will have a government that is committed to allowing universities like KPU to build on-campus housing,” says McGowan. “We look forward to a time in the near future when more students can live on campus while attending post-secondary education in B.C.. Our next step is to make sure that the housing built for students is accessible and affordable.”

Caitlin McCutchen could not be reached for an interview before press time.