Varsity MLA Candidate Bruce Payne

By Amy Badry

Bruce Payne has worked as a carpenter, has held leadership roles with various industry associations and has a reputation as a labour negotiator.

With experience in both the public and private sectors, Payne has been involved with organizations such as the Calgary Board of Education, the City of Calgary, the Stampede Board, ATCO, PCL and Ellis Don.

Payne raised money and twice travelled to Sri Lanka following the 2004 tsunami disaster. On his second journey, he established a carpentry school to train young orphans.

“My [opinion on post-secondary education] is very strong and supportive. Only about 17 per cent of Calgary Board of Education graduates go on to post-secondary right after high school. The rest fumble around before they know what they want to do,” said Payne.

Payne is a part of the Calgary Board of Education’s Career and Technology Chief Advisory Council.

“We develop strategies to find career paths for alternative post-secondary training. We create strategies for poor high school students in Calgary to pursue careers. Post-secondary can be technical training such as [for] mechanics, electrical engineers and beauticians.”

The Alberta Liberal platform on post-secondary education includes capping and lowering tuition for undergrads by $250 per year, creating a post-secondary endowment fund to reduce and eliminate tuition, forgiving five per cent or $1,000 of student debt each year a student stays and works in Alberta and expanding distance learning opportunities

“We need to incentivize students to pursue their post-secondary in Alberta and stay to keep working in Alberta. Education is the future of our province. If we fail to educate sufficient numbers, we are in trouble.”

Voting takes place on April 23. Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. If you reside in Varsity, you can vote at 300 Lounge Varsity Courts, 3735 32 Avenue NW. To be able to vote, you must be 18 years or older on election day, be a Canadian citizen and must have had Albertan residency for six months immediately proceeding the election.

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