AMS Applauds Federal Government for Investing in Students

OTTAWA, April 19, 2021 – The Alma Mater Society of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver applauds the federal government for taking a step towards making post-secondary education more affordable for students amidst the ongoing pandemic by announcing additional support for students, recent graduates, and youth in Canada’s 2021 Federal Budget.

The budget is extensive in providing support to post-secondary students and post-secondary sectors across Canada. More specifically, the budget works towards a collective $1.7 billion investment, jointly with investments made by the Fall Economic Statement, into youth and student employment. We are also very excited by the waiving of interest accruals on Canada Student Loans until March 31, 2023 in addition to the commitment of the doubling of the Canada Student Grants until the end of July 2023.

“It is essential that the federal government support post-secondary students during Canada’s recovery from the pandemic. Students will play a critical role in supporting Canada’s economic recovery. The waiving of interest rates on Canada Student Loans and extending the doubling of the Canada Student Grants until 2023 is a step in the right direction.” said AMS Vice-President, External Affairs Kalith Nanayakkara.

Throughout the past year, the AMS has been lobbying alongside the Undergraduates of Canadian Research-Intensive Universities (UCRU) on the removal of federal student loan interest rates and continued investments into student and youth employment. Supporting Indigenous students has and always will be a priority for the AMS. This year, the AMS and UCRU have been advocating for increased investments into
the Post-Secondary Student Support Program which this budget invests over $150 million into.

“This provisional removal of interest rates relieves some of the extraordinary financial burden on recent graduates as they enter this recovering economy. Moreover, the investments made into employment programs and strategies will be essential in ensuring that students have increased access to gaining practical work experience during such unprecedented times” said Vice-President Nanayakkara.

The AMS has been advocating with UCRU on a number of recommendations to the federal government including the provisional removal of interest rates on all federal student loans for new graduates and increased investments towards the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy along with the Canada Summer Jobs program.

“Investing in students today is an investment into Canada’s future economic growth and recovery.” said Nanayakkara.

“The AMS will be continuing to advocate alongside our federal partners and UCRU to advocate for increased student financial support, funding supports for Indigenous students, work-integrated learning opportunities and research investments for post-secondary students” said AMS Vice-President, External Affairs-Elect, Saad Shoaib.

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