November 20th 2023, OTTAWA - Students from across Canada are taking to Parliament Hill this week in an effort to advocate for an innovative, higher quality and more accessible post-secondary education system in Canada. Representing the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) and the Quebec Student Union (QSU), student leaders will be meeting with MPs, Ministers, Senators and stakeholders in an effort to further their goal of improving the quality of life for students from coast to coast to coast.
During the 2023 Policy and Strategy conference in Fredericton, students identified a number of priorities and recommendations to the government that would become the main focus of CASA’s advocacy and government relations efforts. In brief, these recommendations are as follows:
- Relieving Cost of Living Pressures on Students
Invest $813.6 million annually to permanently set Canada Student Grant maximums at $4,200 per year and maintain weekly loan maximums at $300/week.
- Supporting On-Campus Student Mental Health
Invest $500 million over 4 years to hire 1,200 new post-secondary counsellors across Canada to address the ongoing mental health crisis in Canada’s post-secondary institutions.
- Unlocking Canada’s Housing Supply
Unlock housing supply by investing $3.25 billion dollars to support the addition of student-oriented units to be completed within six years.
- Increasing Indigenous Access to Post-Secondary
Increase investments to the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) and Métis and Inuit Post-Secondary Education Strategies to support Indigenous students in attending post-secondary education.
- Investing in the Future of Canada’s Research & Development
Protect Canadian talent creation by increasing the value of Canada Graduate Scholarships and Post-Doctoral Fellowships by 50%, and doubling the number of these competitive research awards.
- Solving Today’s Labour Market Needs
Permanently lift the limit on off-campus working hours for international students.
- Preserving Educational Fair Dealing
Preserve the current balanced approach to educational fair dealing to continue to support high-quality and affordable post-secondary education.
“Students are both excited to present these recommendations to Parliamentarians this week, and hopeful that all their hard work will pay off. I’m confident that the recommendations that CASA, the QSU, and the students that they represent are bringing to Ottawa this week can help Canada’s post secondary education system become the innovative, high quality and accessible one that we know it can be.” - Sadie McAlear, Chair of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations.
Read the full Advocacy Document presented by CASA and the QSU below.
Established in 1995, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations is a non-partisan, not-for-profit national student organization composed of 25 student associations across the country. Through our partnership with the Quebec Student Union/Union étudiante du Québec, CASA represents 365,000 post-secondary students across Canada.
Canadian Alliance of Student Associations
Communications and Creative Content Officer