Ruby Barclay & the VIU Tuition Waiver for Kids in Care

Statement in the House by MP Sheila Malcolmson


Proud to have an inspirational advocate for kids in care and post-secondary education in the House today, Nanaimo's own Ruby Barclay. No better advertisement for investing in youth than this smart articulate young woman.

Weeks after forming government, BCNDP Premier John Horgan came to Nanaimo to keep a promise: The Province would cover tuition for kids who’d been in foster care. He said "I’m the first in my family who went to college or university, and I sure as heck didn’t get there by myself." Horgan emotionally thanked his mum, who’d raised him alone. And he challenged us, “those with kids – do you kick them to curb when they turn 19? No! Because the government took these kids from their families, We are the responsible parent. We’re going to help if they want to go on in school.”

RCMP security wiped away tears. And we beamed with pride, because Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island University pioneered this, waiving tuition for 142 former kids-in-care since 2013. Canada has an epidemic of kids in foster care, especially our Indigenous youth. How grateful I am to have leaders like VIU and Ruby amplifying solutions.