Eli Ridder | The Post
Shortly after 4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Minister of Finance Bill Morneau announced their third federal budget of the term, a budget that is targeted towards women equity and spends big in a strong Canadian economy.
The new budget’s effect on post-secondary students is minimal due to the portfolio largely being covered at the provincial level, however, legislators and student-focused organizations did have several comments regarding the legislation.
The largest complaint over the budget is the Liberal’s not addressing post-secondary tuition.
New Democratic Party education critic Anne Minh Thu Quach told the Post that there was no relief for student debt or signals of any movement towards free post-secondary tuition, a policy many student groups advocate for.
“No new funding and student debt is still cripling our economy,” Quach wrote on Twitter.
The francophone Member of Parliament said that the Liberal’s “continue to make more and more money on the back of students by keeping high interest rates on federal student loans.”
At its bi-annual federal convention in Ottawa earlier this month, the New Democrats formally passed a resolution adding 100 per cent subsidized tuition to its official platform ahead of the 2019 national election.
Quach did say that she was pleased to see that funding had been allotted to “fight against sexual violence on campus.”
The Canadian Federation of Students said Ottawa’s goal of gender equality “misses the mark” for its failure to address student debt and high tuition costs.
National deputy chairperson Charlotte Kiddell explained the majority of those with student debt are women and that the price of education acts as a barrier to high-paying employment, with women also taking longer to pay back loans due to the gender wage gap.
“Failing to allow women to access education is impeding women from the workplace,” Kiddeli said.
The budget did, however, introduce the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for women to receive up to $6,000 upon entering male-dominated Red Seal trades.
Morneau’s budget, called “Equality + Growth” brings up deficit spending to $10 million and tackles gender equality, employment and Indigenous People’s funding.
More details to follow. Image of Bill Morneau and Justin Trudeau holding last year’s budget from the Toronto Star.