Ottawa, ON, Dec. 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Standing Committee on Finance (FINA) released its report on the Pre-Budget Consultations in Advance of the 2018 Budget. Although the Federation was saw some of its supported recommendations put forward, there remains much to improve in terms of the chronic underfunding of post-secondary institutions, the student debt crisis, and the annual growth of tuition fees.

Last year, students won an investment of $90 million into the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) after years of lobbying on the issue and targeted lobbying since the Liberal government’s election to keep their election promise to fully fund the program. Students have remained vigilant in calling for a total investment of $141 million, the estimated amount (Assembly of First Nations) needed to fully fund all Indigenous learners currently eligible for the program. Additionally, students have called for the program to be expanded to fund education for Métis learners.

The Federation submitted its recommendations to the Committee on September 18, calling for the elimination of tuition fees and implementation of a universal system of post-secondary education, funding allocated to the Aboriginal Languages Initiative, graduate student research and on-campus mental health services. The Federation was pleased to see recommendations put forward for Indigenous students through the PSSSP, an expansion of youth employment initiatives, increased support for research, open educational resources and student mental health needs.

In addition, some recommendations address issues advocated for by the Federation and its coalition partners, including the creation of a public prescription drug program, a national childcare system and increased funding to the Women’s Program at Status of Women Canada to address violence against women.

However, the chronic underfunding of post-secondary institutions, the student debt crisis, and annual growth of tuition fees continue to be overlooked. The Federal government must improve access to education by eliminating tuition fees through a dedicated cash transfer to the provinces and remedy student aid by removing interest rates on Canada Student Loans.

Students have seen a number of their supported recommendations put forward in the Standing Committee’s report and will continue to advocate for substantial changes in funding for post-secondary education.

For more information, National Deputy Chairperson Charlotte Kiddell will be available for comment on the release of this report.

Attachments:

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/bfaf68db-7559-4e99-a60d-3140aaf0dc15

CONTACT: Charlotte Kiddell
Canadian Federation of Students / Fédération canadienne des étudiant-e-s
613-232-7394
c.kiddell@cfs-fcee.ca

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