Policy & Advocacy

Our 2016 Advocacy Week Recommendations

Post-secondary education continues to be the great equalizer in Canada, providing knowledge, training and economic opportunity to all types of people across all fields of interest. Knowing this, government must continue to build on its commitments for equitable growth by making post-secondary education accessible, affordable, innovative, and high quality. Doing so will open doors for all Canadians to achieve their personal and professional goals and contribute to society in a meaningful way.

Making Canada a Global Innovation Leader: CASA's Innovation Agenda Submission

Students are the innovators of the future, and to succeed they need access to modern, high-quality programs at Canadian educational institutions. Universities and colleges are built to educate students, develop global citizens, support research, and foster a sense creativity that will benefit Canadian society both socially and economically.

Supporting Progressive Economic Growth Through Investments in Post-Secondary Education - 2017 Federal Budget Priorities

In Budget 2016, the Government of Canada took significant steps to create economic growth that was inclusive of all Canadians. University and college students applauded steps to make education more accessible and affordable, to foster skills development and to promote primary research. For 2017, Canada’s students are calling on the government to continue to invest in a way that is reflective of the Canadian ideal of equity. 

Budget 2016 Successes

Student successes from the 2016 federal budget

The Next Canada: Study by Abacus Data on Young Canadians

Canada’s New Electoral Powerhouse?

Would you believe me if I told you that young Canadians likely had a major impact on the outcome of the 2015 Canadian general election?

Probably not. That’s because we have continually heard over and over that young people are politically disengaged. Few pay attention to politics. Few vote. And there is plenty of evidence that supports these claims. Elections Canada estimates that during the 2011 federal election, only 39% of Canadians aged 18 to 24 showed up at the polls. In 2008, it was 37%, down from 44% two years earlier.

But the 2015 Canadian election may have been the start of a political awakening of a new electoral powerhouse in Canada.

Early indications suggest that turnout increased upwards of 12 percentage points among the youngest cohort of potential voters, and young voters coalesced around one political party and leader unlike in the past decade. So much so that one could credit young voters with giving the Liberal Party its majority government.

This study, commissioned by the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), reports on a range of data sources, including a recent survey of 1,000 Canadians aged 18 to 25 years old. In it, the report explores the recent history of youth engagement in Canadian politics, and reveals findings that indicate that young Canadians voted in greater numbers than in the past, with important consequences.


Quick Facts on Post-Secondary Education in Canada

Quick Facts on Post-Secondary Education in Canada in 2016.

Pathways to Universal Access: Towards a More Equitable Post-Secondary Financial Aid System in Canada

Pathways to Universal Access: Towards a More Equitable Post-Secondary Financial Aid System in Canada

The federal government is the single largest source of funding for public financial aid for post-secondary students in Canada. Financial aid policy has a major impact on the areas of accessibility and affordability of post-secondary education (PSE) in Canada. This paper aims to examine the impacts of those programs, such as student loans, student grants, tax credits and scholarships on the areas of access and affordability.

While other dimensions of accessibility do have an important impact, such as provincial policies and non-financial motivations like family education, they are outside the scope of federal financial aid advocacy and are variables that the federal government cannot directly affect. This paper does not examine the other federal areas of responsibility in PSE either, such as support for First Nations students which depends on agreements between the federal government and Canada’s First Nations communities, nor military colleges which are dependant on Canada’s national defense priorities. This paper offers a set of recommendations to be directed at the federal government for ways in which financial aid can be improved.

The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) supports a system of financial aid that uses the most progressive and effective policies to support equal access to higher education for all students regardless of background, without burdening any student with debt that they have difficulty repaying.

Read the Report.

Successes from the 2015 Budget

Successes from the 2015 Budget.