RE: Student Debt is Stifling Innovation #cdnpoli

Dear Jason Kenney, Minister of (under)Employment

I write you today to out of concern for innovation in Canada's economy. Specifically, I worry that many of our most creative minds are too saddled with student debt contribute their full capacities to progress and innovation.

Student debt creates a stagnating aversion to risk. Expecting innovation and entrepreneurial leadership from recent Canadian graduates, with tens of thousands of dollars in debt, is hypocritical. Every wisdom we've prepared youth with is to be financially prudent and repay debts. Student loan repayment is much more reasonably achieved on a salaried career path if your working life starts out deep in the red.

Counterintuitively, the creative potential of many educated indebted workers is completely factored out of our job creation strategies; meaning, the public takes a loss from our investments in post-secondary education. Under a user-pay system, the human capital  of debt-bearers is economically articulated in a such a way that it cannot reach its full potential. The indebtedness of graduates reduces the positive externalities of post-secondary education as a public economic good. Think of the public servants, insurance agents, call centre workers, and delivery drivers who have university education, hate their jobs, and may be sitting on a brilliant business idea, with the potential to create Canadian jobs.

A thriving creative economy does not saddle students with debt. While I personally advocate the elimination of tuition fees and a national strategy for program offerings, I understand those changes can only be achieved over time.

Today, I write to you to suggest a student debt forgiveness fund for Canadian entrepreneurs. Canadians need a policy mechanism to liberate the best ideas from the latent pool of innovation that is educated indebted workers. I suggest that a fund be established for entrepreneurs with student loans and lines of credit that repays significant portions (ideally all) of student debt once the viability of an entrepreneurial venture is verified by a standardized metric (ex. capital raising threshold, accurate forecasts, manageable business plan).

Minister Kenney, if your Conservative government can find 5 million dollars a year during a period of austerity for a new Office of Religious Freedom, you can surely find a generous budget for a student debt forgiveness fund for Canadian entrepreneurs.