Federal Budget Falls Short of Expectations: Ontario College Students

    TORONTO, March 19 /CNW/ - Canada's new government fails Ontario's college
and college/university students again. In Budget 2007, significant increases
for postsecondary education do not come until 2008-09, says the College
Student Alliance (CSA).
    "College students expected Canada's new government to come through on
their 2006 election promise to create the Canada Education and Training
Transfer (CETT)," says Matt Jackson, President of the CSA. "Students across
Canada united with provincial and territorial premiers and Ministers of
Education calling for a dedicated postsecondary education transfer."
    Within its budget the government announced that postsecondary education
funding will remain within the Canada Social Transfer (CST) but earmarked with
an increase of $800 million in 2008-09 and 3 per cent annual increases each
year thereafter until 2013-14. In contrast, before the implementation of the
CST in 1992-93 federal funding for postsecondary education was $2.9 billion
and with today's announced increased funding it will only be $2.4 billion for
2007-08, which falls short if you take into account inflation and demographic
    "Students were looking to the federal government - in today's budget - to
step up to the plate with provinces and territories to ensure that all
Canadians have an equal opportunity to an accessible, affordable and
transferable postsecondary education," says Jackson. "Without major
investments in per student funding, targeted student assistance and a national
dialogue on postsecondary education, Canada will allow emerging countries like
Brazil, India and China to soon surpass us in the global knowledge based
    On a positive note, Budget 2007 did announce the launch of a review of
the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP). The CSA along with numerous student
advocacy groups called on the federal government to embark on a holistic
review that would address the needs-assessment process and focus on providing
students assistance without an unreasonable debt load.
    "This review could not have come at a better time as a third of college
students will graduate with debt levels more often associated with university
graduates," says Tyler Charlebois, Director of Advocacy. "As the importance of
obtaining a postsecondary designation is at an all-time high, Canada must
ensure that all Canadians have the chance to access postsecondary education
and skills training."

    The College Student Alliance (CSA) is an advocacy and services
organization which has been proudly serving Ontario's college and
college/university students since 1967. The CSA currently represents 16
colleges and 22 student councils with over 109,000 full-time student members
throughout the province.

For further information:

For further information: Tyler Charlebois, Director of Advocacy, College
Student Alliance, T: (416) 340-1212, C: (416) 346-9951, E:

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