In defense of this position we quote a much younger Alan Blakeney
addressing the Legislative Assembly in 1968:
we have heard not only that university tuition fees should not be
but that anyone who suggests the abolition
of university fees is somehow corrupting our youth. I like that twist.
Now, why is it morally healthy for university students to accept 80
per cent of his tuition costs from the Government and morally corrupting
to accept the other 20 per cent, is never explained.
Why for 50 Years it has been morally uplifting and the subject of a
great public campaign, as a matter of fact, for students to go to high
school and pay no tuition fees, and why it is morally corrupting for
that same student to go to university and pay no fees? That too is
Why it is morally uplifting for a student to go to university and
have his dad pay all the fees, but morally corrupting to have his fellow
student who doesn't have a rich dad to pay to university and have the
Government pay. that's not explained. In fact, as we all know. in the
latter case that poorer student will have personally worked harder
and sacrificed more to get his university education.
But what amuses me most is some of their remarks that assume the university
students are stupid and naive. They are neither - far from it. They
know that to campaign for open universities freely available will not
help them. They know that they themselves will have graduated before
the benefits of this needed reform come, particularly with a Liberal
Government. But they know better than anyone else that there are still
hundreds of young people, potential university graduates, their schoolmates,
who do not graduate because of financial barriers. And they know that
while this continues Saskatchewan loses, and Canada loses. They know
too that when open universities come, as come they will, the students
of today will pay. If taxes are increased they know that they will
pay and they don't complain. They don't complain for two reasons:
(1) They know that more university graduates mean more high-paying
taxpayers; indeed if we had more university students, we would as
individuals probably pay less taxes rather than more.
(2) They know that their obligation to those who come after them is
to offer the greatest possible opportunity for education, to give
every young person something closer to equality of opportunity.
They know their obligation is to do something to make our society freer
and more equal, more morally acceptable. They know that their obligation
and ours is not to offer moral lectures to the young people. but
to do something to make the society more equal and more open and
more open to all. They are not really concerned about the lectures
from Liberal politicians about the corrupting influence of free education,
the corrupting influence of something for nothing. They've heard
about enough of the dire warnings and evils of something for nothing
from Liberal politicians, many of whom were straining every nerve
to be appointed to the Senate."
- Debates and Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan,
1st Session, 16th Legislature, Vol. VI, Part 1, p. 522.