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Council of Canadians backs CFS call to eliminate undergraduate tuition fees

CFS parliament hill

Students lobby MPs for public education for the public good.

The Council of Canadians supports the call for free tuition for university students.

The Canadian Press reports, “The largest organization for post-secondary students in Canada is calling on the federal government to fund university and college education the same way it does health care and enshrine it in legislation. The Canadian Federation of Students is pushing for a federal post-secondary education bill that would see the federal government become more active in an area of provincial jurisdiction. The student group says the federal government should repurpose cash used for programs like the registered education savings plan and instead create a $3.3-billion annual transfer for provinces to make post-secondary education free for students.”

The news article adds, “The federation says existing funding and education savings programs don’t help low-income students pay for a college or university education. The federation’s lobbying effort for the federal Liberals to include post-secondary spending items in their first budget will be followed by another student lobbying week at the end of the month.”

Another Canadian Press article notes, “It’s not the first time advocates have pushed for Ottawa to play a bigger role in post-secondary education, which is traditionally a provincial domain. This time, however, student groups think they will find a sympathetic ear with a Liberal government that wooed young voters during the campaign with promises of making it easier to pay for post-secondary education and pay off federal student loans.”

That article highlights, “Last year, the number of student loan recipients who declared bankruptcy hit a 10-year high: 6,050 borrowers declared bankruptcy in 2015, more than double the 2,692 who did so in 2014, the next highest total since 2006.”

In the 2015 federal election, the Council of Canadians worked with the Canadian Federation of Students and other allies to encourage youth to ‘Go Vote’.

Yesterday, Elections Canada issued its report on the 2015 election. It noted, “Voter turnout was at its highest in 20 years, with 68.0 percent of registered electors voting. This compares with 61.1 percent in the 41st general election [in 2011]].” Overall, 2,888,575 more people voted in 2015 than in 2011. The Elections Canada report also noted, “For the first time, returning officers opened 71 satellite offices at select campuses, Friendship Centres and YMCAs… More than 70,000 electors voted at these locations, almost 80 percent of whom voted from outside their electoral district. Of the three location types, campuses had the highest voter turnout.”

To read more about the Canadian Federation of Student’s “vision for a nationally-planned, public, affordable and accessible system of post-secondary education from coast to coast to coast”, please click here.