Paul Wells is a prick...
...and you gotta love it. This snippet from yesterday made me howl:
"Jacques Parizeau is excited again and has written some more on the subject. His letter, published in today's La Presse, is reprinted on this sovereignist website. Readers with a working knowledge of French will want to read it in its entirety; those who work in the Prime Minister's Office can probably get it translated."
Ah, for dispassionate but vicious pokes at Equipe Martin, there's no one better.
In the rest of the Inkless world, Wells is making a compelling (moreso by the day) argument that low tuition fees, as a general guiding principle of higher education, is socially unjust, not to mention crippling to the quality of education. He's even using math! (Do they glare at you in the Press Club for doing that, Paul?)
I haven't read enough background material to back him up staunchly. I'm skittish about the idea of making "the rich" pay much, much more for post-secondary education, mainly because whenever the government decides who can afford a service and who cannot, the income threshold always seems to be mighty low. (My family is Single Income Two Kids, and Alberta makes me pay the same health care tax, er, premium, as millionaire DINKS.)
However, I'm not surprised that he's hearing only a small minority calling for frozen or zero tuition. When I was at Queen's in the early 90s, the students' union (and many others) actually withdrew from the Canadian Federation of Students because their political goals were so unsupportable and unfocused. Besides zero tuition, I believe the CFS's other high horse was getting all the Pepsi machines off Canadian campuses because Pepsi had investments in Myanmar. Or some critical student issue like that.
When even campus groups are willing to consider alternate funding models, you're probably onto something. Keep on, Wells.