Students See Holes in Bridge to Knowledge Economy

    TORONTO, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - Today, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced
$2 billion dollars in infrastructure spending targeted at Colleges and
Universities across Canada as part of the proposed federal budget. Lacking
from the budget, however, were student support measures aimed at fostering the
knowledge economy that Colleges and Universities can deliver.
    "We are pleased that the government has not forgotten post-secondary
education when planning for infrastructure spending across the country," said
Trevor Mayoh, President of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance.
"However, if the government of Canada truly wants to create the 'jobs of
tomorrow' then serious stimulus monies must be committed to enhance access to
and persistence in higher education," continued Mayoh.
    OUSA and its partners made the following recommendations for targeted
investments in post-secondary education coming from a federal stimulus

    -   Increase up-front grants to students who find themselves unable to
        cope with costs of post-secondary education
    -   Invest 1.5 billion in Accumulated Deferred Maintenance at post-
        secondary institutions across the country
    -   Extend the non-repayment period for Canada Student Loans from the
        current 6 months to 12 months and make it interest free
    -   Provide a one time earmarked transfer to the provinces for post-
        secondary education to offset freezes or claw-backs in provincial
        post-secondary education funding

    "Infrastructure funding is crucial, no doubt, however, if there is not a
parallel commitment to ensure adequate funding for students and institutions
we will witness strange times at post-secondary institutions as new buildings
go up, while students and teachers wait out in the cold for government
support," said Howie Bender, Executive Director of the Ontario Undergraduate
Student Alliance (OUSA). "Too many Canadians are having difficulties paying
the bills and keeping their jobs, properly funding students, professors and
institutions is more important than ever."
    OUSA delivered these recommendations to Minister Flaherty in partnership
with the Alberta College and Technical Institute Student Executive Council
(ACTISEC), the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), the Council
of Alberta University Students (CAUS), the College Student Alliance (CSA) and
the New Brunswick Student Alliance (NBSA).

    OUSA represents the interests of more than 140,000 professional and
undergraduate, full- and part-time university students at seven institutions
across the province.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Trevor Mayoh, President, OUSA: (519) 497-6773; Howie Bender, Executive
Director, OUSA: (416) 341-9948, (647) 504-7010; Tammy McQueen, Director of
Communications, OUSA: (416) 341-9948

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Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

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