N.S. university students protest funding cuts
Hundreds of university students took to the streets of Halifax on Wednesday, calling on the provincial government to stop cutting funding to universities.
As part of a national day of action, students from Dalhousie, Saint Mary's, King's, Mount Saint Vincent and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design universities carried signs reading "Reduce Tuition Fees" and "Drop Student Debt" as they rallied through downtown Halifax.
"Students are fed up with the hypocrisy that our government has displayed," said Gabe Hoogers, the Nova Scotia representative of the Canadian Federation of Students.
"Darrell Dexter, back in the day, used to support reducing tuition fees, reducing student debt."
As part of a government-wide effort to eliminate the provincial deficit, Nova Scotia's New Democratic government is cutting base funding to post-secondary institutions for the second year in a row.
Universities are expected to respond with another tuition hike, leading to complaints that students will end up racking up even higher debt.
"Do you think Darrell Dexter graduated with $30,000 of debt?" said Chris Ferns, president of the Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers.
"All we have is a government whose policies on post-secondary education are the worst we've seen in nearly 20 years."
While hundreds of students rallied against the government's actions, there was at least one student who had a different opinion.
"I think that universities — and in some cases the debt that goes with it — is a necessary part of life," said Jake Rideout, an MBA student.
"I think we're all decision makers, we're all mature adults and by the time we decide to go to school and if something costs money, well it's your choice to take on that burden."