AMS President Kanivanan Chinniah and AMS Vice President Sarah Letersky have been in Ottawa since Monday to lobby the federal government.
The two Queen’s representatives joined a coalition of student governments across Canada, including student governments from the University of Saskatchewan, Western University, the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo and McMaster University.
The purpose of the visit will be to engage with elected officials and policymakers on the “improvements to Canada Student Loans Program, international student employment and immigration, and action on youth unemployment,” according to a recent AMS press release.
The Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) reduces financial barriers for students attending post-secondary education. Among the recommendations is an increase of the borrowing limit to $15,500 by annual inflation.
A policy brief released by the AMS provides several recommendations related to international students, including the removal of hourly restrictions to working off campus while studying on exchange, and the removal of a requirement that students to be enrolled full-time to work without a permit.
According to the brief, the youth unemployment rate in June 2015 was twice the national unemployment rate at 12.9 per cent. One of its recommendations is to promote Canadian youth employment through “grants, tax credits, and wage subsidies for businesses that hire Canadians aged 18 to 30.”
Chinniah and Letersky stated in a press release that as the new government sets its first budgetary priorities, student governments will have an opportunity engage the government on issues that affect students.
The brief, which will be presented to government officials, was created by the coalition of student governments visiting Ottawa.
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