Issued yesterday by the BC Government Caucus:
Today’s hollow and contrived policy pronouncement echoes the back-of-the-napkin planning that Dix displayed a penchant for when he was the chief architect of the last BC NDP government between 1991-2001
Today, Mr. Dix’s inability to answer the most basic questions on his latest spending promises proves again that he intends to take British Columbia backward to the disastrous economic policies of the 1990s that hurt both students and graduates.
Adrian Dix’s record speaks for itself. His hasty promises without any plan to pay for them can only mean one thing – higher income taxes for new post-secondary graduates (and everyone else) if they are fortunate enough to find a job in a hostile investment climate.
Students who graduated in the 1990s faced a brutal youth employment market:
• From 1998 to 2001, B.C. had the highest youth unemployment rate west of Quebec, and was higher than the national average in each of those years.
• In every year since 2005, B.C. has had a lower youth unemployment rate than the Canadian average.
• Between 1991 and 2001, the BC NDP created only 2,000 net jobs for youth in the province – a paltry average of only 200 a year.
• Under the BC Liberals, from 2001 to 2010, 43,800 net jobs were created for youth. In an average six month period over the past decade, more jobs were created for youth in B.C. than were created over an entire decade of BC NDP government.
• In 1998, youth unemployment reached 17.4% in B.C., higher than any province outside of the Maritimes.
• Ten years later, under the BC Liberals, youth unemployment had dropped to 7.7%, lower than any province other than Alberta.
• Between 1991 and 2001, the number of employed youth increased by just 0.72%, compared to 15.72% between 2001 and 2010.
• From 2001 to 2010, B.C.'s youth job creation rate was 15.72% - the highest in the country, and nearly three times the national average.
• Today, B.C. currently has the fourth-lowest tuition in Canada: $4,802 is the average tuition undergraduates paid at B.C.’s public institutions in 2010-11.
• Student debt load in B.C. is the third lowest in Canada, and approximately 70% of students graduate without a B.C./Canada student loan.