Students welcome pledge of long-term predictable federal funding for post-secondary education.

    OTTAWA, Sept. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Alliance of Student
Associations is encouraged by the pledge of the New Democratic Party to create
a dedicated funding transfer from the federal government in each fiscal year
to support the post-secondary educational services of the provinces. The
pledge, announced today as part of the NDP's "Education Opportunity Plan",
would guarantee each province a long-term, predictable level of funding each
year, provided that each province satisfied certain criteria and conditions
set by the federal government regarding program quality, accessibility, public
administration and accountability.
    "Since the 1990's, the responsibility for funding post-secondary
education in Canada has largely been offloaded to individual students and
private enterprise, placing the accessibility, affordability and quality of
the system in jeopardy," said Zach Churchill, National Director of the
Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. "Depending on the amount, a
dedicated transfer can help to reverse this process, allowing the federal
government to reclaim its abdicated responsibility for ensuring a properly
funded and accountable public post-secondary education system."

    The NDP Education Opportunity Plan also promises:

        - A grant of $1000 by 2012 to all undergraduate or equivalent
          students who qualify for student loans, paid at the beginning of
          each school year
        - A promise to forgive the student loans of health professionals who
          commit to dedicate the first 10 years of their careers to family
          medicine in Canada
        - A promise to reform the Canada Student Loan system, including
          providing interest relief, to ensure that students will not be
          forced to start repaying their loans until after they have
          completed their education

    CASA calls on the New Democratic Party to follow-up on today's
announcement with more specific details about how their dedicated education
transfer payment will be funded each year. With reference to this, CASA
recommends that a dedicated transfer be funded at an initial level of
$4 billion in annual cash transfers, with increases made accordingly for
annual inflation and demographic growth thereafter.
    CASA will continue to call on the other parties in this election to
create progressive solutions designed to increase the participation rates of
Canadians who are currently underrepresented in the post-secondary system,
while sustaining students currently in the system by reducing the amount of
debt incurred in pursuit of a post-secondary credential
    The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-partisan,
not-for-profit national student organization composed of 23 student
associations, representing 300,000 students from coast to coast.

For further information:

For further information: Jillian Flake, Public Relations and
Communications Officer, CASA, (613) 236-3457, ext. 224, (c) (613) 868-6605,

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Canadian Alliance of Student Associations

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