VICTORIA, Feb. 18, 2014 /CNW/ - Underfunded capital projects, college
and university budget cuts and no measures to addressed skyrocketing
student debt means that BC Budget 2014 puts post-secondary education
further out of reach for BC's young people.
"Budget 2014 proposes new facilities at colleges and universities when
we can't even keep the lights on in buildings we already have," said
Jenelle Davies, BC Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students.
"Even if institutions scratch together the matching funds and private
donations required to access this funding, where are the operating
funds going to come from," asked Davies.
Colleges and universities are facing the first year of a three-year, $50
million funding cut announced in 2013, which is compounded by projected
inflation of between 1.5 and 2.0 per cent, and an unfunded 25 per cent
increase in hydro rates.
Budget 2014 also re-announced the government's misguided RESP plan as a
measure to help families afford BC's high tuition fees.
"RESPs don't help low-income and working class families access colleges
and universities; they help those who have the money to save in the
first place," said Davies. "At best this scheme will only offset a
small fraction of the tuition fee increases put in place by this
government, and do not replace the BC grant program cut by the BC
Liberals in 2003."
On Monday students launched a provincial campaign to curb skyrocketing
student debt. Called Squash the Squeeze, the campaign calls on the BC
government to eliminate interest charged on student loans, increase
funding for colleges and universities, reintroduce a needs-based grants
program, and reduce tuition fees.
"By the government's own calculation, 78 per cent of new jobs created in
BC by 2020 will require some post-secondary education. We will never
meet this target if students can't get the classes they need."
The Canadian Federation of Students-BC is composed of students from 16
post-secondary institutions across every region of BC. Post-secondary
students in Canada have been represented by the Canadian Federation of
Students and its predecessor organizations since 1927.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students- British Columbia
For further information:
Zach Crispin, spokesperson (604) 733-1880
Steven Beasley, (250) 713-6131