February 6, 2017
Students Take Call for Free Post-Secondary Education to Parliament Hill
Students from across Canada are in Ottawa this week meeting with Members of Parliament and Senators to present a plan that would see tuition fees eliminated for all students.
“We must move towards a system of universally accessible post-secondary education so that everyone in this country has an equal opportunity to succeed,” said Bilan Arte, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “Years of reliance on individual savings schemes and other patchwork solutions have not addressed a system failure.”
Students will present MPs and Senators with three proposals to transform public post-secondary education in Canada:
- Eliminate tuition fees for all skilled trades and apprenticeship, college and university students, including international students, by restoring federal public transfers for post-secondary education;
- Fulfill Indigenous peoples’ right to education by funding all First Nations, Métis and Inuit learners through the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP); and
- Strengthen Canada’s research capacity by increasing graduate student funding.
Students’ recommendations would bring Canada on par with many other countries around the world that provide universal access to post-secondary education. The proposals also address commitments that have been unfulfilled by the Liberals. In the 2016 federal budget, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke his promise to Indigenous learners by failing to invest in the PSSSP. An estimated 10,000 Indigenous students continue to wait for funding to pursue a post-secondary education.
“A pattern of broken promises is emerging from a federal government that campaigned on real change,” said Arte. “Students will not settle for the status quo. We are seeking justice and fairness for some of the most marginalized communities on our campuses and we expect the federal government to do more than pay lip service to Indigenous and international students.”
Students’ lobby document, titled From Piecemeal Reform to Universal Access, can be downloaded here.