With the 2017 federal budget being presented in Ottawa this Wednesday, student groups eagerly await to see how funding will be allocated to post-secondary-related initiatives.
According to the Globe and Mail, the federal budget is slated to cover the deficit, skills training, infrastructure, housing and tax reform.
When it comes to post-secondary issues, there are some specific things that students should be on the lookout for.
The Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) is an initiative directed toward ensuring that funding is available to indigenous students so that they can pursue a post-secondary education. However, the fund had been capped and allocation has not increased in line with inflation in recent years.
According to Anne-Marie Roy, national deputy chairperson of Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised increased funding during his campaign. However, this was not included in last year’s federal budget.
“It’s actually something that the Liberals campaigned on in the last federal election and so we were very disappointed in the last federal budget when that promise was broken and we’re hoping that this year that promise will be mended through the federal budget,” Roy said.
Another important topic that students should look for is research funding.
Last year, the federal budget allocated $2 billion to create a Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund as well as an extra $95 million for research grants.
Jamie Cleary, University Students' Council (USC) vice-president and Ontario Undergraduate Students’ Alliance (OUSA) president, highlighted the benefits infrastructure funding would have to Western students.
According to Cleary, rapid transit plans have major implications for future students and federal funding would be imperative for further work.
“I don’t think we’ll see anything directly to London, I think we might just see a large pool of infrastructure funding that London can then apply into,” Cleary said. “Hopefully we see some good dollars going to infrastructure so that our municipalities can continue to grow as well.”
The Gazette will cover the budget reveal live from Ottawa so stay tuned for more in-depth coverage on all our social media channels.
Correction (March 22, 2017):
A previous version of this article cited the CFS national deputy chairperson's incorrectly as Anne-Marie Ray. Her name is actually Anne-Marie Roy. The Gazette regrets the error.