It is truly a proud day for me to stand in the house and say that our government is taking steps to make tuition free for New Brunswick students from low-income and many middle-class families.

Education is one of our government’s top priorities because we believe it is the key to our economic future.

We also know that education can break the cycle of poverty and change the lives of families for generations. This historic legislation will help those who need it most – those with family incomes of $60,000 or less.

This will be a major incentive for students who otherwise would not have gone to university or college. It will also improve enrollment at our publicly funded universities and colleges and encourage New Brunswick students to study here at home.

It is anticipated that 7,100 students will be eligible to immediately benefit from the bursary, which represents about 23 per cent of New Brunswick students in the province’s public post-secondary institutions.

While free tuition for low and middle income families is a key initiative of our government, by no means is it the last thing we will bring forward to help students. It is only the first phase of a multi-phase plan to ensure that all New Brunswickers can earn a degree or diploma.