Budget 2008: Students keeping a watchful eye

    OTTAWA, Feb. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Early next week the federal government
will be tabling its third budget, and Canada's students are hoping that it
contains considerable support for post-secondary education.
    "We hope that the government will strongly consider the meaning and value
of an accessible and affordable post-secondary education system for Canada,"
said Zach Churchill, National Director of the Canadian Alliance of Student
Associations (CASA). "Students across the country will be watching closely to
see that the Conservatives take into account the suggestions we've offered for
this budget."
    Over the last year, CASA has been working with decision-makers and
education stakeholders across Canada, in an effort to emphasize the importance
of a well-funded public post-secondary education system. "Last year's budget
which dedicated $800 million to post-secondary education was a step in the
right direction, but students are looking for a stronger commitment from the
government this year," said Churchill.
    In total, students would like to see federal transfer funding for
post-secondary increased to a minimum level of $4 billion in annual cash
transfers, increasing annually according to inflation and demographic growth.
    Students are also expecting the government to make an announcement
regarding the future of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation (CMSF).
In 2009, the mandate of the CMSF is set to expire and students are demanding
that the federal government commit to preserving the more than $350 million in
non-repayable aid that the Foundation provides to students each year.
    "As time runs out on the Foundation, students are becoming more and more
anxious about the future of post-secondary financial aid in Canada," said
Churchill. "The Foundation is a valuable and effective national student aid
program, and it would be a tragedy to see it disappear."

    CASA is a not-for-profit national student organization, offering
progressive, common sense education reform solutions.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview: Jillian Flake,
Public Relations and Communications Officer, Canadian Alliance of Student
Associations, (613) 236-3457 ext. 224, (c) (613) 868-6605, casacomm@casa.ca

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Canadian Alliance of Student Associations

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