TORONTO, Feb. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - The results of the 2014 Student Budget
Consultation are released today in advance of tomorrow's federal
Nearly 5,000 high school students took part in this year's consultation
from hundreds of classrooms throughout Canada. The students were
tasked with learning about the federal government's revenues and
expenditures, exploring major national issues and comparing the views
of federal party representatives before offering their own opinions
through a survey.
The survey was conducted in partnership with Harris-Decima between
December 2013 and January 2014. The results were shared with the
Department of Finance last month.
Debt reduction should be the Finance Minister's number one priority
A strong majority (81%) of students believe that the federal government
should place a high priority on reducing the debt as much as possible.
Nearly half (46%) of students believe debt reduction should be the
first priority with any future surplus. The next choices were
post-secondary education, investments in the economy to boost jobs and
lower personal income taxes (each receiving 9%).
Education funding and lower taxes key to helping families
A substantial proportion (29%) of the Canadian student population
believes their parents had a tough time financially raising children.
When asked what would be most helpful for their family, students
prioritized lowering personal income taxes (27%) and subsidizing
post-secondary education (26%). Nearly three quarters support the
children's fitness tax credit and support the idea of expanding it to
adults as well.
Increase spending for education and the environment
When asked about spending increases or decreases, half of students want
to see budget increases for post-secondary education transfers (51%)
and the environment (49%). With respect to spending reductions,
prisons/increased sentences (31%) and arts and culture (32%) receive
Youth unemployment is a problem
A majority of students (59%) believe there is a youth unemployment
problem in Canada. Regarding ways to address the issue, one third of
students (33%) think the answer lies in simply increasing awareness
about where the jobs are and one quarter (23%) support investments in
education and training.
Cost of education seen as biggest hurdle to careers
Despite negative youth employment perceptions, students are very or
somewhat confident (79%) that they will find a job that interests them
once they graduate. Approximately 30% of those surveyed said the cost
of education was the biggest hurdle facing them in starting their
Stiffer penalties the best way to address cyberbullying
Three quarters of students (76%) feel that cyberbullying is at least a
somewhat significant problem, though this decreases to less than half
(45%) when talking about the students' own school. Stiffer penalties
for offenders is seen as the best solution to address the problem.
Environmental protection related to resource extraction is important
A majority of students (61%) believe environmental protection related to
resource extraction should be a high priority, although a smaller
number (14%) think it should be the government's top priority. More
students feel that environmental issues outweigh potential economic
benefits than vice versa, but a plurality (37%) feel like the
government can effectively balance the two. When asked for the best way
to support Canada's natural resource industry, more than one third of
students (35%) chose investments to training and education.
To view an info graphic of the results, click here.
To view the full results summary, click here.
The Student Budget Consultation was coordinated with the support of
Interac and the Youth Take Charge program of the Department of Canadian
About the Organization
CIVIX is Canada's premier civic education organization building students
into citizens. We offer experiential learning programs to Canadian
schools focused on elections, representation and government budgets.
To improve the delivery of our programming we offer professional
development to teachers.
Student Vote, the flagship program of CIVIX, is a parallel election for
students under the voting age coinciding with official elections. In
the 2011 federal election, more than 563,000 students cast a Student
Vote ballot from nearly 3,800 schools throughout Canada.
Image with caption: "Young Canadians to Jim Flaherty: Pay down the debt (CNW Group/CIVIX)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140210_C8755_PHOTO_EN_36486.jpg
For further information:
For comment or to be directed to students who participated in the survey, contact Taylor Gunn, President of CIVIX at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1 866 488 8775.