HALIFAX – Students are pleased to see the Liberal budget making substantial investments in non-repayable grants for post-secondary students, youth jobs and public research, but are disheartened that there is no commitment of additional funding to Indigenous students through the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP).
“This budget is a step in the right direction,” said Charlotte Kiddell, Chairperson elect of the Canadian Federation of Students – Nova Scotia. “This budget makes several important investments in non-repayable grants, research funding, and youth jobs.”
The highlights of the federal budget for students and youth include:
- A 50 per cent increase in Canada Student Grants, bringing the maximum grants from $2000 to $3000 for low-income students; $800 to $1200 for middle-income students; and $1200 to $1800 for part-time students.
- Raising the loan repayment income threshold under the Repayment Assistance Program from $20,210 to $25,000.
- Committing $95 million towards public research.
- An additional $2 billion over three years for a Post-Secondary Strategic Investment Fund to support research and infrastructure renewal.
- An additional $165 million towards the Youth Employment Strategy.
However, the budget does not commit to lifting the 2 per cent funding cap on the Post-Secondary Student Support Program for Indigenous students. Although over $8 billion in spending for Indigenous communities is laid out in the budget, this crucial program for post-secondary students has been left out, despite being an explicit Liberal Party promise during the election.
“Students are looking for a national vision in post-secondary education,” said Kiddell. “Our federal government needs to play an active role ensuring that students have equal access to a post-secondary education regardless of what province they live in.”
Students in Nova Scotia face the third highest tuition fees in Canada, at an average of $6817 a year. Due to the provincial government’s decision to deregulate tuition fees, they are also the fastest rising in Canada.
The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada’s largest students’ organization, representing over 650,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students across the country.
For more information contact: Charlotte Kiddell, Media Contact, (902) 580-5735