OTTAWA, April 21, 2015 /CNW/ - Canada's post-secondary students are welcoming extensive new measures in the 2015 federal budget that will enhance access to post-secondary education and improve long-term employment prospects for Canadian youth.
Set to begin in 2016-2017, the federal government is investing $419 million over four years into the Canada Student Loan and Canada Student Grant Programs. This is a great sign demonstrating a sincere commitment to the youth of this country.
"We are extremely pleased to see that government is taking students' priorities seriously", said Jonathan Champagne, Executive Director of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA). "We only wish students didn't have to wait until after an election to see them come to fruition", added Champagne.
Budget 2015 outlined the following 2016-2017 government commitments to financial aid:
- Eliminating in-study income, ensuring that students are not penalized for earning an income while in school - $116 million over four years
- Reducing expected parental contribution, helping students make ends meet - $119 million over four years
- Expanding the eligibility of Canada Student Grants, allowing students in shorter programs access to non-repayable aid - $184 million over four years
"The total contributions are $419 million over four years. Students have not seen this kind of investment in financial aid in several years" noted Champagne. In addition to student financial aid, there were other measures students were pleased to see government action on:
- The launch of a labour market information portal. Helping students make informed decisions about their future educational and career paths.
- Amending the Canada Labour Code to protect interns with even the most basic health and safety standards.
- Renewing the Mental Health Commission of Canada's mandate for another ten years.
"Young Canadians and students have been waiting a long time for this type of investment" said Champagne, "and this budget has much to be happy about".
Established in 1995, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit national student organization composed of 22 student associations representing 280,000 post-secondary students from coast to coast. CASA advocates for a Canadian post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, innovative and of the highest quality.
SOURCE Canadian Alliance of Student Associations
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