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Budget 2022: No Pandemic Relief for Students and No Long-Term Plan for Post-Secondary Education

Press Release

OTTAWA, April 8, 2022  – The Canadian Federation of Students (the Federation) is pleased to see action from the federal government that makes post-secondary education more affordable and accessible to all by doubling Canada student grants, removing interest for Federal student loans until 2023, while enhancing the repayment assistance program to ensure low income borrowers do not have to pay.

“The Federation was pleased to see the investments in childcare, dental care, pharmacare, and broadband access to low-income families. However, after more than two years of extraordinary financial struggles, students need immediate government investment in their well-being and post-secondary institutions, and summer work opportunities are a serious concern for students and recent graduates.” said Marie Dolcetti-Koros, incoming chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students

Budget 2022 left a lot to be desired for students who are tackling unique issues that have not been experienced simultaneously by previous generations. Students are currently caught at the cross-section of the affordability, mental health, and global health crises, and require immediate action from the federal government.

According to reports published by the Education for All Coalition, federal support for post-secondary education over the last 20 years has declined by almost 40% and as a result, student debt has risen by 40%, along with the increase of privatization on campuses and performance based funding models. With two-thirds of jobs requiring some form of post-secondary education, accessible and affordable education has never been more in demand or necessary. Unfortunately, the rising cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition fees have more than doubled respectively over the last 20 years, with undergraduate international student tuition over five times the cost of domestic student tuition.

In February 2022, the Federation held our annual federal lobby week advocating for additional support for students, which included action on the national mental health and housing crises, fairness for international students, Indigenous learners, a call to make education affordable and accessible for all, and relieving the burden of student debt. The following month, the Federation joined Sponsor MP Heather McPherson and Co-Sponsor MP Blake Desjarlais at the tabling of Bill C-260, the Canada Post-Secondary Education Act, to support legislation that would create a national vision for post-secondary education in Canada.

The Canadian Federation of Students is the oldest and largest national student organization in Canada, representing over 500,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students across the country.

For further information: Candice Pinto, Canadian Federation of Students, at [email protected]

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