The Issues

While Canada ranks among the top countries in the world for its proportion of citizens with a post-secondary education degree, this comes at a tremendous and increasing personal cost. Since 2001, tuition fees have more than tripled as public funding for post-secondary has dropped below 50%, and the total public student debt in Canada sits at $36 billion. The cost of public underfunding is disproportionately borne by international students who pay over three times more in tuition fees than their domestic counterparts for the same education. 

Moreover, First Nations, Métis and Inuit students continue to be denied funding to post-secondary education despite their right to education affirmed in a number of nation-to-nation treaties, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

 Plus, in a time where we only have 11 years to tackle the climate crisis, as stated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we cannot afford to have an entire generation burdened with billions of dollars in student debt. Financial stability is crucial to allowing people to fully participate in saving the one planet we have. 

 This election, Generation Vote are heading to the polls in big, bold numbers and demanding the future government to take bold, progressive stances on these five key issues

Free Post-Secondary Education & Debt Alleviation

Post-secondary education is a necessity for over 70% of new jobs in Canada today, however the rising cost of post-secondary education has made it increasingly difficult for many students to enter and maintain their studies.
As a result of lack of funding, national public student debt is over $36 billion. This debt is not just a financial burden preventing many graduates from moving forward in life, but also forces students who were unable to afford the upfront cost of their education to pay more for their degree through interest on student loans.

This election, Students need federal leaders who will take a bold stance in supporting access to education for all students by:

Investing in a fully public, universal, tuition-free system of post-secondary education governed by a national Post-Secondary Education Act
Introducing debt alleviation programs for current debt-holders, including eliminating interest rates on all student loans

By heading to the polls in big, bold numbers, students can ensure their issues are priorities for the next government. Students are voting for bold, progressive policies.

 

Fairness for International Students

International students provide a richer campus and educational experience, contribute to the local economy, and should be treated with fairness. They are also one of the largest demographics of students in Canada, making up a fifth of all post-secondary students. This means there are over half a million students paying more than 3 times the tuition as domestic students for the same education. These students continue to experience inflated tuition, restrictions to work permits and access to public healthcare.

This election, Students need federal leaders who will take a bold stance in supporting international students by:

  • Providing stable funding transfers to eliminate all differential fees,
  • Streamlining immigration pathways, and
  • Ensuring provincial governments provide unrestricted public healthcare access by including this requirement in the Canada Health Act.
  • International students don’t have the right to vote, but they’re counting on domestic students to vote for bold, progressive policies.

Indigenous Learners' Right to Education

This election, Students need federal leaders who will take a bold stance in supporting First Nations, Métis and Inuit students by:

 

  • Fully funding post-secondary education for all First Nations, Métis and Inuit students
  • Investing in Indigenous language programs, including at post-secondary institutions
  • Enacting The Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation 
  • Enacting Calls to Justice from the report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG2S)

Climate Justice and a Liveable Planet

This election, students need federal leaders who enact bold solutions to the climate crisis, including:

  • A fully-funded post-secondary education system that will ensure effective just transition programs and foster mitigation and adaptation research in all fields of study
  • Bold policies towards decarbonization that limit some of the most lethal and devastating impacts of global climate change for our generation and those to come, while putting justice for Indigenous people, migrants, workers, and the poor at the centre of the transition to a green economy.

Pandemic Relief that Doesn’t Leave Students Behind

This election, students need federal leaders who have the political will to enact bold policies that will support students such as:

  • National ChildCare program that is universal for children 0-12 and children with disabilities over the age of 12
  • Rent control and investing in affordable housing
  • Eliminating student debt and investing in a fully public, universal, tuition-free system of post-secondary education governed by a national Post-Secondary Education Act
  • Support programs that establish food banks, food buying co-op programs, and subsidized meal plans to establish food security

Free Post-Secondary Education & Debt Alleviation

Post-secondary education is a necessity for over 70% of new jobs in Canada today, however the rising cost of post-secondary education has made it increasingly difficult for many students to enter and maintain their studies.

As a result of lack of funding, national public student debt is over $36 billion. This debt is not just a financial burden preventing many graduates from moving forward in life, but also forces students who were unable to afford the upfront cost of their education to pay more for their degree through interest on student loans.

This election, Students need federal leaders who will take a bold stance in supporting access to education for all students by:

  • Investing in a fully public, universal, tuition-free system of post-secondary education governed by a national Post-Secondary Education Act
  • Introducing debt alleviation programs for current debt-holders, including eliminating interest rates on all student loans

By heading to the polls in big, bold numbers, students can ensure their issues are priorities for the next government. Students are voting for bold, progressive policies.

Fairness for International Students

International students provide a richer campus and educational experience, contribute to the local economy, and should be treated with fairness. They are also one of the largest demographics of students in Canada, making up a fifth of all post-secondary students. This means there are over half a million students paying more than 3 times the tuition as domestic students for the same education. These students continue to experience inflated tuition, restrictions to work permits and access to public healthcare. 

This election, Students need federal leaders who will take a bold stance in supporting international students by: 

  • Providing stable funding transfers to eliminate all differential fees, 
  • Streamlining immigration pathways, and 
  • Ensuring provincial governments provide unrestricted public healthcare access by including this requirement in the Canada Health Act. 

International students don’t have the right to vote, but they’re counting on domestic students to vote for bold, progressive policies. 

Honouring Indigenous Learner’s Right to Education

Though access to post-secondary education for First Nations learners is a treaty right, and a right enshrined in the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for all Indigenous learners, many are unable to enter or maintain their studies due to the rising cost of education and inadequate federal funding. 

This election, Students need federal leaders who will take a bold stance in supporting First Nations, Métis and Inuit students by: 

  • Fully funding post-secondary education for all First Nations, Métis and Inuit students
  • Investing in Indigenous language programs, including at post-secondary institutions
  • Enacting The Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation 
  • Enacting Calls to Justice from the report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG2S)

Many First Nations, Métis and Inuit people choose not to participate in Canadian elections, but there are a number of ways to engage in this campaign and encourage those who do vote, to vote for bold, progressive policies.

Climate Justice and a Liveable Planet

The climate crisis is a serious threat to current and future generations here in Canada and around the world. Record breaking temperatures and weather events are becoming more recurrent and will threaten our collective survival.

To avoid some of this immediate catastrophic damage, humans will need to transform their economy at “at a speed and scale that has no documented historic precedent.” Post-secondary institutions must foster our move to a renewable energy future with research and innovation, and retraining workers for green jobs.

This election, students need federal leaders who enact bold solutions to the climate crisis, including:

  • A fully-funded post-secondary education system that will ensure effective just transition programs and foster mitigation and adaptation research in all fields of study
  • Bold policies towards decarbonization that limit some of the most lethal and devastating impacts of global climate change for our generation and those to come, while putting justice for Indigenous people, migrants, workers, and the poor at the centre of the transition to a green economy.

By heading to the polls in big, bold numbers, students can ensure their issues are priorities for the next government. Students are voting for bold, progressive policies. 

Pandemic Relief that Doesn’t Leave Students Behind

Although students had access to CESB after grassroots efforts, many were excluded and the program was cut short while the pandemic ravaged on. This meant that students were left to fend for themselves struggling to pay for food, rent, tuition, and or childcare, while big businesses received a bailout and billionaires grew their wealth substantially. Over 75% of students have student debt, meaning they need more support than ever before. The average student debtor owes $26,075.00 

This election, students need federal leaders who have the political will to enact bold policies that will support students such as: 

  • National ChildCare program that is universal for children 0-12 and children with disabilities over the age of 12
  • Rent control and investing in affordable housing 
  • Eliminating student debt and investing in a fully public, universal, tuition-free system of post-secondary education governed by a national Post-Secondary Education Act 
  • Support programs that establish food banks, food buying co-op programs, and subsidized meal plans to establish food security 
  • A progressive tax system that ensure everyone pays their fair share, in addition to closing tax loopholes that the wealthy take advantage of, and a new tax bracket for those making over 500,000 

By heading to the polls in large numbers, students can ensure progressive, bold policies that will 

provide the necessary support to live with dignity and respect.

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