By Amy Badry
Alison Redford graduated from the University of Saskatchewan College of Law in 1988 and now has her own law firm. Redford was the senior policy advisor to the secretary of state for external affairs from 1988 to 1990. She also worked as a technical advisor for the European Union and was the commonwealth secretariat for the Canadian and Australian governments.
Redford thinks the number one issue facing young Albertans is education.
“As we take a look at our future it has to be education because I know young Albertans want to make sure they have the skills and the experience they need to build a life and to participate in the economy,” she said. “We have a strong university system but we have to make sure that we are funding university and providing enough financial incentives for students so they are not graduating with such heavy debt loads that they can’t even get ahead.”
Redford said she would do this by looking at the structure of the student finance board and sitting down with the university student associations as well as grad student associations to talk about the issues of student finance.
“I think we have to lower the debt loads and I think one of the things we have to [do] is to take a look at whether or not [universities] are really dealing with fees in a way that reflects what they need to be collecting from students,” she said.
Redford thinks there will always be a time students will have to pay for their post-secondary education.
“But ensuring that finances are available for students to make decisions about their future is important,” said Redford.
Redford hopes to make applying for loans more accessible for students as well as allowing students to pay back their loans easier.