Conservative platform offers almost nothing to students and their families

OTTAWA, April 8 /CNW/ - The Conservative election platform offers almost nothing to combat the rapidly rising costs of post-secondary education and eroding quality of Canada's colleges and universities.

"The Conservative Party is ignoring the student debt crisis," said David Molenhuis, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "While the Liberal party has committed a billion dollars to making education more affordable, the Conservative Party is offering nothing to combat rapidly rising tuition fees and record high levels of student debt."

The Conservative platform includes only two measures for students: a small expansion of loans for part-time students and an expansion of the in-study exemption for students working while receiving Canada Student Loans.

The Liberal Party platform proposed a grant of $1,000 (middle- and high-income households) and $1,500 (low-income households) per year, for up-to four years of post-secondary study to any student with a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). The New Democratic Party has yet to release its education platform.

"The Conservative platform is completely silent on the federal government's biggest education expenditure: the Canada Social Transfer," added Molenhuis. "This is extremely troubling as it is almost guaranteed that the next government will renegotiate the transfer when it expires in 2014."

The federal government transfers over $3 billion a year to the provinces for higher education through the Canada Social Transfer.

The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student organisation, uniting more than one-half million students in all ten provinces. The Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927. 

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information:

David Molenhuis, National Chairperson (613) 232-7394


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