FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA, October 19th, 2016 – One year ago, on October 19th 2015, young Canadians arrived at voting stations across the country and made history. Younger Canadians saw the largest increases in voting participation in a generation, with participation of those aged 18 to 24 up 12 percentage points since the previous federal election. The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) would like to mark the one year anniversary of the election by emphasizing continued need for student-centric policies and initiatives.
“Students played a critical role in electing the current Liberal government,” said Michael McDonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. “One party was able to speak directly to students and made significant promises to them. These students expect their needs to be met.”
In April, CASA commissioned a study by Abacus Data highlighting young Canadians’ priorities for the new government.
Over the last year, CASA believes the current government has taken strong steps to respond to the needs of students. In particular:
- Enhancing the Canada Student Grant amounts by 50% for low to middle income families and part-time students;
- Increasing the Repayment Assistance Plan income threshold to $25,000 to better reflect the cost of living;
- Reallocating funds from the Education Tax Credit and Textbook Tax Credit into more effective and progressive programs like the Canada Student Grant and Repayment Assistance programs; and
- Increasing work-integrated learning opportunities to better align students with the needs of employers.
However, students continue to face significant challenges. CASA has outlined recommendations to further reduce these barriers in its pre-budget submission.
“In modern Canada, there is no justification for qualified Canadians being unable to access post-secondary education or being unable to continue it,” said McDonald. “CASA is calling on the government to provide targeted support to First Nations students, graduate and doctoral students, and students with mental health concerns. This is needed if we are to guarantee universal access to post-secondary education."
Established in 1995, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit national student organization composed of 21 student associations representing 250,000 post-secondary students from coast to coast. CASA advocates for a Canadian post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, innovative, and of the highest quality.
Lindsay Boyd, Communications and Public Relations Officer
Phone: 613-236-3457 ext. 224