In socialist canada, education for residents is subsidized, and student loans have reasonable terms. No free ride unless you get a scholarship.
That's not really any different than in the US. Public universities are subsidized - that's why they cost so much less than private ones (usually 25% to 50% as much). Government student loans seem pretty reasonable to me. No interest accrues so long as you're in school, repayment doesn't begin until 6 months after you graduate, and most of them have repayment terms of 10 years or so.
I went to a major public university, got my BS, and after grants/other financial aid had around $24,000 in debt to pay off after graduation. Payments were less than $200 per month and I finished up on payments about 18 months ago.
BTW my dad is a construction worker who dropped out of school in the 8th grade. My mom is a receptionist who graduated high school. Growing up poor is no excuse for not getting an education. If you want it all you have to do is work for it.