March 28, Ottawa ON, - The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) and the Quebec Student Union (QSU) appreciate the Government of Canada’s partial extension of student financial aid, and look forward to the development of a long-term approach to student financial assistance in Canada ahead of Budget 2024. In Budget 2023: A Made in Canada Plan, the Government of Canada announced several temporary investments that will benefit students for the upcoming school year.
Budget 2023 investments include $813.6 million in the Canada Student Financial Assistance Program (CSFAP) and increases for Canada Student Loan (CSL) limits from $210 to $300 per week of study, both for the duration of the 2023-2024 school year.
“Students appreciate the temporary investment in Canada Student Grants (CSG), and look forward to working with the government to create a long-term, sustainable approach to the Canadian Student Financial Assistance program in the upcoming year,” noted Christian Fotang, the Chair of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. “Although it’s not the $6000 increase in Canada Student Grants students had hoped for, a $1200 increase to the base $3000 to CSG is an appreciated step.”
The one-time investment in CSG for the 2023-2024 school year means that student grants maximums will increase by 40 per cent from 2019 levels, for up to $4,200 per year for full-time students. Students with disabilities and students with dependents will also see a 40 per cent increase in Canada Student Grant amounts for the 2023-2024 school year.
“Though we are pleased to see investments in the Canada Student Financial Assistance Program, student researchers are being left behind,’ noted Samy-Jane Tremblay, President of the Quebec Student Union. “Student researchers are disappointed to see the government is turning a blind eye and it is letting its best talents go. We are hoping that the government will review the Report from the independent Advisory Panel on the Federal Research Support and take action.”
Budget 2023 did not see investments in research funding for students despite the critical role that student research and innovation plays in Canada’s economy. Student mental health was also notably missing from this budget, with the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions mandate commitment calling for a new student mental health fund dedicated to improving campus mental health still not actioned.
Other policies announced in Budget 2023 that benefit students include:
- Providing $197.7 million in 2024-25 to the Student Work Placement Program to continue creating quality work-integrated learning opportunities for students;
- Allocating $108.6 million over three years, starting in 2023-24, to expand the College and Community Innovation Program, administered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council;
- Doubling the maximum employment deduction for tradespeople’s tool expenses from $500 to $1,000; and,
- Waiving the requirement for mature students, aged 22 years or older, to undergo credit screening in order to qualify for federal student grants and loans.
Students also saw significant support in November’s Fall Economic Statement, which eliminated the federal portion of student loan interest.
CASA looks forward to continuing to work with the federal government in the year ahead to develop a long-term approach to student financial assistance, in time for Budget 2024.
Max Greer, Communications and Creative Content Officer
Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA)
(289)-214-8608, [email protected]
Quebec Student Union (QSU)
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 24 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.