Federal Budget 2016 Includes Significant Wins for UBC Students

On March 22, the Honourable William Francis Morneau, Minister of Finance, tabled the 2016-2017 federal budget in the House of Commons. The AMS is encouraged to see that new, progressive measures pertaining to students, youth and postsecondary education play an important role in this year’s budget document.

Within this budget, the Government has taken important steps to increase the affordability and accessibility of postsecondary education. Increasing Canada Student Grant amounts by 50 per cent is one of these measures. Enhanced grants will be available for the 2016-17 academic year and will assist in alleviating the financial stress that UBC students are facing every day. Budget 2016 also expands the Canada Student Loans Programs’ Repayment Assistance Plan by increasing the loan repayment threshold and introduces a flat-rate student contribution to determine eligibility for Canada Student Loans and Grants. This will mean that students will be able to gain valuable work experience without having to worry about their level of financial assistance being reduced.

Budget 2016 also recognizes the importance of youth employment opportunities by investing in the Youth Employment Strategy and creating the Post-Secondary Industry Partnership and Co-operative Placement Initiative. These investments acknowledge the need for youth to gain work experience that will help them transition into the work force and the skills that they need to make this transition successfully. Student unions across the country have long advocated for the value of co-op placement, work-integrated learning and the value of experiential learning; this budget takes concrete steps to support these valuable programs.

The Government’s commitment to driving innovation will also directly impact students. Budget 2016 invests in infrastructure at postsecondary institutions with the purpose of strengthening research facilities and ensuring that these facilities are environmentally sustainable. Additionally, starting in 2016-17, funding for research through granting councils will be boosted by $95 million.

The AMS is glad to see so many wins for students in Budget 2016, many of which are measures that we have been strongly advocating for. We will continue to monitor the implementation of these programs and evaluate the ongoing impact of Budget 2016 on students.

Media Contact

Jude Crasta

Vice-President, External Affairs

vpexternal@ams.ubc.ca

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