(OTTAWA) - Green Leader Elizabeth May (Saanich – Gulf Islands), unveiled the Green Party’s Youth and Education Strategy that includes a plan to abolish tuition fees for students and their families. The strategy would also implement a debt-forgiveness program for student debt above $10,000.
“We must invest in Canadian youth and the skills, training, and education that is necessary to create jobs,” said May. “Young people are faced with the challenge of finding a job after they finish school, in a tough economy, while battling student debt. The Green Party is committed to investing in youth and removing barriers, like student debt, so young Canadians can find stable, sustainable jobs."
The Green Party’s National Student and Education Strategy will:
● Immediately cut tuition fees for students and their families without adequate financial means, and remove the inadequate 2% cap on tuition for all First Nations and Inuit students.
● Abolish tuition fees for post-secondary education and skills training for Canadians by 2020 through constructing a system of federal grants collaboratively with the universities and colleges.
● Eliminate any existing or future student federal debt above $10,000.
● Abolish interest on new student loans and increase available funding for bursaries.
● Create a national Community and Environment Service Corps, which will provide $1 billion/year to municipalities to hire Canadian youth.
● Help students and their families through the Guaranteed Liveable Income (GLI), to ensure no person's income falls below what is necessary for health, life, and dignity.
“In these times of high youth unemployment, heavy student debt is a burden that keeps young Canadians from being able to start their post-academic lives on an even footing,” said Gord Miller, former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario and Green Party candidate (Guelph). “The debt forgiveness program and our plan to eliminate tuition fees by 2020 represents positive change for students and their families."
“I am pleased to be here with Elizabeth today in Guelph to make this announcement,” continued Miller. “Our plan will make education more accessible for students. These critical investments in trades, apprenticeships, and education will ensure that all young Canadians have the skills to build a successful future.”
“It is a bold idea, but we can and must afford it. We can implement this investment in our youth through common sense measures like eliminating subsidies to fossil fuels and restoring the corporate tax rate to what it was in 2009,” concluded May. “We don’t need to continue with the status quo; we can do better.”
The Green Party was the first party to release a fully costed platform, available here.
For additional information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Green Party of Canada
cell: (613) 240 8921