Thank you for that.
I really want to appreciate the emphasis that this is the most indebted generation in Canadian history. I believe we are in a crisis when it comes to access to education; furthermore, when 70% of new jobs require some form of post-secondary education, students are put in a very difficult position when they are unable to afford it.
When we understand the question around public funding for post-secondary education, it's important to know that public funding for public services such as education is at an all-time low, particularly when we compare funding levels of today with those of the 1940s. Generations before us enjoyed a much more publicly funded system of post-secondary education.
Oftentimes we look at how much politicians had to pay for their post-secondary education. We know that our Prime Minister paid close to $1,700 when he was attending post-secondary. The premier here in Ontario, where there are the highest tuition fees in the country, paid closer to $700 per academic year when she was attending university.
Evidently, when we look at today, the national average for tuition fees is well over $6,000. In Ontario, it's well over $8,000 per academic term. To attend is very unaffordable and inaccessible to young people.
On the question of where the funding comes from, I think there was a time when our federal government actually prioritized funding to post-secondary education. That was over 60 years ago. Today our generation is facing the consequences of progressive devaluing and disinvestments for post-secondary education.
I think budgets are about priorities. We could and should invest in a progressive taxation system in this country that doesn't benefit the wealthiest, that doesn't provide tax incentives and tax loopholes for Canada's wealthiest corporations to evade billions of dollars in taxes every single year. Beyond that, I also think our government has been able to prioritize funding on the military, for example, when it has found that to be a priority.
I think that investing in youth, investing in the next generation, adequately providing young people with the skills, education, and training they need to be successful in today's labour market should be the upmost priority. From a government that spoke a lot about youth issues in the last federal election, the young people expect and deserve more when it comes to funding for post-secondary education.