Budget 2017 makes important investments but fails to address chronic underfunding and skyrocketing fees in post-secondary education

For Immediate Release

March 22, 2017

HALIFAX—Budget 2017 makes important investments in Indigenous learners and student grants, but fails to address the chronic underfunding of post-secondary institutions or skyrocketing tuition fees in Canada. The budget invests $90 million in the Post-Secondary Student Support Program that funds Indigenous learners pursuing higher education.

“Today’s investment in the Post-Secondary Student Support Program is long overdue and students will continue to work to ensure every Indigenous learner is able to access post-secondary education,” said Charlotte Kiddell, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia. “New investments in student grants, research, co-op education, and restrictions on unpaid internships will also help students in Canada.”

The budget did not address the upfront costs students face trying to pursue a post-secondary education, or the $28 billion in student debt that Canadians hold. This year, students have been calling on the Federal Government to restore a $2.29 billion dedicated post-secondary funding transfer that was cut in 1996.

“This is a missed opportunity for the Federal Government to address the chronic underfunding of our post-secondary education system through a dedicated transfer for higher education and a Post-Secondary Education Act,” said Kiddell. “With tuition fees increasing 4 times faster than inflation in Nova Scotia, federal action is needed now.”

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, chairperson@cfs-ns.ca



Job Posting: Brand Ambassador for the Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia

Position:        Brand Ambassador                                                   Date Posted: Monday, March 20th

Type:              10 hours per week, 4 weeks                                     Expiry Date: Monday, March 27th

Location:       Halifax, Nova Scotia


Organisation Description

The Canadian Federation of Students is the largest student organisation in Canada, representing over half a million college and university students on campuses across the country. The Federation brings students together to discuss how to build a post-secondary education system that is of high quality and accessible to everyone, irrespective of class, race or gender. Since the organisation was founded in 1981, the Federation has lead the charge against high tuition fees and advocated for safer campuses by developing campaigns and services that address inequalities faced by students. By working together, students have seen real change at the local, provincial, and national levels.

Programme Description

In recognition of the financial hardships students undergo when pursuing higher education, the Federation developed a discount programme to help students save money on everyday purchases like books, clothing, food, and entertainment. The programme is Canada’s only discount programme run for students, by students. Students are able to gain access to discounts by using their International Student Identity Card (ISIC) or Studentsaver card*.

Discounts are negotiated with local, often independent, businesses in communities throughout Canada. In exchange for offering exclusive discounts to students, participating businesses are offered free promotional services that attract the college and university student population to their products and services. Businesses that offer discounts are promoted on the ISIC Canada website, (www.isiccanada.ca), the ISIC Global website (www.isic.org), the ISIC app, associated college and university apps, as well as on flyers that are distributed on local campuses throughout the year.

Job Description

The Canadian Federation of Students is seeking a Brand Ambassador to approach local businesses around their campus community and encourage them to participate in the student discount programme. As members of the nationwide Discount Solicitor Network, Brand Ambassadors will play a critical role in creating meaningful and long-lasting partnerships with local businesses and providing exclusive discounts for their peers to benefit from. The position requires Brand Ambassadors to work independently and remotely, while providing consistent progress reports to the Discount Solicitor Network.


  • Research potential businesses to solidify partnerships with and create map of businesses to target
  • Develop action plan to achieve regional goals and maximize participation from local businesses
  • Approach local business owners/managers and encourage them to offer exclusive discounts to students in exchange for free promotion
  • Follow-up with subsequent visits and phone calls to highlight benefits of programme for both businesses and students
  • Ensure contracts signed by participating businesses are comprehensive and legible
  • Keep track of solicitations in database with list of participating businesses, contact information of all businesses approached, when to follow-up, when to send resources, etc.
  • Submit weekly progress report of solicitations which includes all signed contracts and updated database of solicited businesses
  • Coordinate solicitation efforts with fellow Brand Ambassadors through the Discount Solicitor Network
  • Establish, develop and maintain relationships with participating businesses 


  • Current post-secondary student
  • Excellent verbal communication, interpersonal and relationship building skills
  • Willingness to be creative and innovate to promote participation and reach regional goals
  • Effective time management skills that balances time devoted to developing strategies, soliciting businesses, and tracking progress
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently to set and achieve goals
  • Willingness to work as part of team to transfer knowledge and experience, and to identify when support or guidance is necessary
  • Strong organisational skills to keep track of progress
  • Ability to travel locally
  • Sales experience preferred, but not necessary


$15/hr for 10 hours per week (flexible schedule). Bonus incentives for completing minimum regional targets.

Contact / Application Information

For more information, or to apply contact services@cfs-ns.ca. Please use subject line ISIC Brand Ambassador: Your Name, and include a brief cover letter and resume. Only successful applicants will be contacted for an interview.

Name:              Anna Dubinski

Telephone:      (902) 329-2329

E-mail:              services@cfs-ns.ca

Liberals fail to create jobs opportunities for youth in Nova Scotia

HALIFAX— Numbers released last week by Statistics Canada reveal that Nova Scotia has lost more jobs for young people than any other province in Canada. Over the last two years, the number of youth employed in the province has dropped from 63,400 to 57,200, a drop of 10%.

“Students in Nova Scotia are graduating into one of the weakest labour markets in Canada,” said Charlotte Kiddell, Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia. “The data released by Statistics Canada confirms that this government has failed to create the job opportunities they promised young people when elected nearly 4-years ago.”

This news comes despite the government’s decision to create new barriers for youth to access skills training in Nova Scotia. In 2015, the government announced that it was lifting the 3% on university tuition fees, resulting in such fees increasing by 5.6% last year. This is the fastest rate of increase in Canada, compared to a national rate of 2.8%.

“When jobs are unavailable, the government should be doing everything in their power to make skills training more accessible,” said Kiddell. “Instead, this government has allowed college and university tuition fees to outpace inflation every year they have been in power.”

High tuition fees and student debt loads also prevent youth from pursuing other opportunities here in Nova Scotia. The high upfront cost to obtain a post-secondary education is a barrier that can prevent those in need of financial assistance from being able to fully participate in the economy for upwards of 10 years post-graduation.

“Students graduating with an average debt load of $38,000 aren’t in a position to become entrepreneurs and start businesses,” said Kiddell. “Student debt is forcing our graduates into a position where they leave Nova Scotia for job opportunities elsewhere.”

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, chairperson@cfs-ns.ca


Students Call for Fall Provincial Election

The Hon. Stephen McNeil

On behalf of the Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia, I’m writing to encourage you to call Nova Scotia’s next election for mid to late October 2017, with a campaign period running through September and October. Such timing would be consistent with the most recent municipal and Federal elections.

Youth and students are historically underrepresented in the voter turnout of provincial elections. Post-secondary students are often a highly transient population that face many barriers to voting in municipal, provincial and federal elections, including the lack of standard forms of identification and proof of residence. This gives cause for many politicians, government officials, and other decision-makers to ignore students and youth as an important constituency because they do not fear their impact at the ballot box.

However, low student and youth participation in elections is not reflective of political apathy or disengagement, as evidenced by the high level of youth and student involvement in volunteerism, community service, and advocacy campaigns. As I hope you appreciate, establishing voting habits in youth and students is an important aspect of developing a civic culture of voting that extends throughout a lifetime. Therefore, increasing student and youth voter turn-out in municipal, provincial, and federal elections should be a public priority and all levels of government must work to reduce barriers between students and the ballot box.

As a representative of post-secondary students across Nova Scotia, I implore yourself and your government to hold elections in the fall when the majority of students are attending class on campus. I hope you take this opportunity to demonstrate the Nova Scotia Liberal’s commitment to supporting civic engagement amongst students and youth in our province.

Yours sincerely,


Charlotte Kiddell


Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia

Students in Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

The Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia, which represents post-secondary students from across Nova Scotia, stands in solidarity with members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their allies as they protect sacred land and water from the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.  The Federation condemns colonial violence against Indigenous territory and people, and the violation of treaty rights.

The Dakota Access Pipeline project has devastating consequences for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Reservation.  The Pipeline has already destroyed many Indigenous ancestral burial sites and sacred places of prayer.  If continued as planned, the Pipeline will cross Lakota Treaty Territory at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, destroying more sacred land and contaminating the Missouri River – the Standing Rock Sioux’s drinking water source.  The Federation protests such desecrations of sacred land and the contamination of natural resources.

The Federation protests the physical violence perpetrated against peaceful Indigenous water protectors at Standing Rock by both the National Guard and private security company G4S.  Violent interventions have included the use of physical force, attack dogs, pepper spray, tear gas and water cannons in below-freezing temperatures.  Such extreme use of force is grossly uncalled for in response to non-violent direct action.

The Canadian Federation of Students opposes any development or resource extraction on Indigenous lands without the explicit consent of local Indigenous communities. The Federation recognizes and fully supports the inherent rights of Indigenous people, such as the right to self-determination, self-government, and the right to clean water.