FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
STUDENTS FROM ACROSS CANADA APPLAUD BUDGET 2021 INVESTMENTS IN POST-SECONDARY
OTTAWA, April 19, 2021 -- The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) and the Quebec Student Union (QSU) are pleased with the comprehensive student aid package announced in today’s federal budget. The package will bring significant relief to students from coast to coast to coast who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. From investments in Canada Student Grants, extending the waiver on accrual of student loan interest, to investments in jobs for students, and more, we are glad to know that the Government of Canada is listening to the needs and concerns of students during this unprecedented time.
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have been concerned with the financial burden many students have faced, from lost jobs, mental health impacts, to fears about repaying their loans, many students have been left strained and worried about their futures”, says Bryn de Chastelain, Chair of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. “However, with the doubling of the Canada Student Grant for two more years, extending the waiving of interest on federal student loans through March 2023, and ensuring that low-income student borrowers have access to more generous repayment assistance provides security for many.”
CASA and the QSU have long advocated for additional up-front non-repayable grants, as they provide security to in-need students entering post-secondary. The doubling of the Canada Student Grants is a significant investment in Canada's future and students are excited to play a role in the COVID-19 recovery plan. There was a lack of investments in research funding for students despite the critical role that student research and innovation plays in Canada’s recovery.
“In addition to the financial pressures, students have experienced the worst decline in mental health of any age group,” says Jade Marcil, president of the Quebec Student Union, “We are pleased to see these investments in students and mental health from the federal government, and will expect the Quebec government to invest these transfers in COVID-19 supports, specifically in Quebec student financial aid.”
“Entering the workforce is an exciting time for students, and work-integrated-learning opportunities help to support a smooth transition into the workforce for many students”, adds Bryn de Chastelain, “the investments in job creation through the Student Work Placement Program, Canada Summer Jobs and the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy is an excellent way to ensure that students are ready, and have the opportunity, to enter the labour market and meaningfully contribute to Canada’s economic growth.”
Akanksha Bhatnagar, Communications and Public Relations Officer
Alexandre Ducharme, Press Officer
The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a national voice for Canada’s post-secondary students. Established in 1995, CASA is a non-partisan, not-for-profit student organization composed of student associations from across Canada. We represent 23 student associations, and in a partnership with the Quebec Student Union (QSU) represent 365,000 students collectively to the federal government of Canada. CASA advocates for a post-secondary education system in Canada that is accessible, affordable, innovative and of the highest quality.
The Quebec Student Union’s mission is to defend the rights and interests of the student community, of its member associations, and of their members, by promoting, protecting, and ameliorating the conditions of students and those of local and international communities. The QSU represents more than 91,000 members from university campuses across Quebec.