Mr. Speaker, there is a growing dismay with the high cost of post-secondary education. Some in this House seem to consider post-secondary education to be an entitlement, free and paid for completely by the taxpayer. Access to post-secondary education has always been a reward for hard work and achievement at the secondary level.
Funding for post-secondary education must remain a partnership which includes the federal and provincial governments, parents, businesses, alumni and students. Although current tuition may seem high, the payoff over a lifetime is more than adequate compensation. The call for full funding is unrealistic. It would place a real burden on existing taxpayers, three-quarters of whom have not had the privilege of attending university. Also, the success rate for students who contribute to their own education is higher than for those who do not.
I call on all Canadians including students to recognize the limitations of our resources. Federal assistance for students under the Canada student loans program has amounted to billions over the years. We have also pledged to further enhance our funding for university and college students across Canada, but within reasonable parameters, leaving students some responsibility for the process.