HALIFAX— This morning, the Minister of Community Services Joanne Bernard announced the expansion of the Career Seek Program to include one year of subsidized tuition and student fees, textbook costs, and an increase to personal allowances for eligible students. The Career Seek Program allows people on Income Assistance to continue to receive assistance while pursuing a university education.
“These changes to the program don’t change the reality that the government expects low income Nova Scotians to jump through hoops in order to access postsecondary education,“ said Charlotte Kiddell, Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia. “If the government recognizes that tuition fees are a barrier to accessing post-secondary education, then they should see that it is time to eliminate that barrier for all students.”
Currently, those receiving Income Assistance cannot receive funding to attend university unless they are considered eligible under Career Seek. Since 2014, only 6 students have utilized the Career Seek program. Students are often being dissuaded from pursuing a university education and can only apply for Career Seek if approved by their worker at the Department of Community Services.
This year, tuition fees in Nova Scotia increased faster than anywhere else in Canada, and are currently the second highest in the country. Students in Nova Scotia are demanding that the province reduce tuition fees and increase funding as they organize for a National Student Day of Action on November 2.
“The government knows students are watching closely. Tinkering with ineffective programmes is not the path to accessible college and university,” said Kiddell. “When our communities unite on November 2, students will continue to fight for the high-quality, public education system this province deserves.”
The Canadian Federation of Students is the oldest and largest national student organization in Canada, representing over 650,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students across the country.
For more information:
Charlotte Kiddell, Chairperson, CFS-NS, (902) 580-5735, firstname.lastname@example.org