On the surface this seems like a wonderful idea. And even down deeper it still looks great that children raised in foster homes, who have suffered abuse in their homes and have been placed in continuing care facilities, many of whom are aboriginal.
Not only is tuition to be waived, there will also be assistance with the costs of books, housing and so forth. In other words, the stuff that makes many students end up in hock, sometimes for decades after graduation and after that graduation they can only hope to secure a well-paying professional position.
Again, for all of this, a big ‘woo-hoo!’ except for one thing that has stuck in my craw for years.
Yes, for the state to cover the tab for the genuine poor is likely a good thing, but the one group that never gets any of its tab covered and invariably ends up with the shitty end of the stick is the working poor! Earn your keep slinging hash, mopping up other people’s vile hotel/motel rooms, or pick fruit in season, all in the name of making ends meet and there is no help for you.
This became so apparent to me when I was compiling information for the Comox Valley Homelessness study a few years ago. There are many families who live so close to the bone that they are one month’s paycheque away from living in the streets. Kick a woman to the curb from the fast food eatery at which she toils and her tykes are going to go hungry.
Go to university?? Ha! Dream on, kids. You will end up in the same crap jobs as your parents because your mom and dad are honorable people who believe in paying their own way in life. You know, they continue to believe what everybody used to believe. But, they get no help for continuing to believe this way.
OK, for anybody local reading this, here are some fast facts for Vancouver Islanders. You live in a geographic entity of which the basic pay rate is fifteen percent lower than the rest of the province. If you live in the Comox Valley you’re doubly screwed because here the average rate of pay is fifteen percent lower than Vancouver Island in general. There are many reasons excuses are made for this, but most of them don’t wash. The main thing is, we don’t pay enough for the work people do.
But, because you actually work to try to keep your family going, there ain’t no official help for your kids who want to break free of the bonds of poverty.
Does that suck? Sure does.