Elizabeth May Announces Support for Accessible and Affordable Post-Secondary Education at University of Victoria

Today, March 31, national Green Party of Canada leader and Saanich-Gulf Islands candidate Elizabeth May will campaign at the University of Victoria, starting with a meet and greet of interested students at 12:00 noon in front of the University of Victoria’s Student Union Building (SUB) on the side by the Cinecenta theatre. Following the gathering at the SUB, she will tour the campus to meet students and urge them to vote.

Ms. May will announce the Green Party’s support for accessible and affordable post-secondary education in Canada, and for enhancing youth job training opportunities.

 “An educated society is vital if we are going to create an environmentally sustainable, socially just, and economically prosperous nation,” stated Elizabeth May, Canada’s Green Party Leader. “One cannot overstate the importance of having an affordable and accessible education. Not only does it expand and enhance one’s employment skill set, but education fosters critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and a wider knowledge base that is vital for making a better society and a healthy democracy.”

"Young people deserve a quality education that doesn't leave them with a debt sentence. Today students are hit by a double penalty, where they must pay onerous tuition fees and then interest on the money they were forced to borrow to pay for tuition. To make matters worse, this is at a financially vulnerable point of most students’ lives,” said Ms. May.

The Green Party of Canada is in favour of increasing federal transfer payments to the provinces to counteract the overall rise in tuition fees at post-secondary institutions, as well as reducing student debt by forgiving portions of student loans. The Green Party of Canada would also boost financial support for students through a Canadian National Student Loan and Bursary Program. The program would provide $1.2 billion in bursaries over three years for students in need.

“Canadian universities need stable and reliable funding to ensure they are not captive to corporate philanthropy which can taint the academic quality of the educational content and process,” May noted.

A greater, reliable funding plan would help to bring Canada's education system up to a level needed to ensure innovation and create jobs for a prosperous, sustainable economy.

In addition, the Green Party would target research grants to institutions with a specific focus on applied research to support new technologies in renewable energy, smart growth and energy conservation.  It would also expand industry-based job training and apprenticeship programs to reduce Canada’s growing shortage of trained workers.

For youth, the Greens would develop a Youth Community and Environmental Service Corps that will provide federal minimum wage employment for 40,000 youth aged 18 to 25 for four years, for a total of 160,000 positions. At the end of each year-long program there would be a $4000 tuition credit awarded to each participant that could be applied to further education and training.

For more info contact Elizabeth May at:
Debra Eindinger
National Press Secretary