At party platform unveiling, Trudeau pledges a number of student assistance measures

If elected, Trudeau will increase loan repayment grace period from six months to two years

If re-elected, Trudeau and his government will implement a number of student assistance measures.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled his party’s platform at a University of Toronto Mississauga town hall event on Sunday, he outlined a number of student assistance promises.

If re-elected, Trudeau said his government will increase Canada Student Grants by 40 per cent for a maximum total of $4,200 per grant, up from the current $3,000.

Criticizing Premier Doug Ford’s education funding cuts, Trudeau promised his party’s increased contributions would provide students with an additional $1,200 per year for tuition, books, and rent.

Trudeau also promised to increase the grace period for loan repayment from six months to two years and set the minimum income for loan repayment at $35,000 a year. Interest would not build during these two years as it currently does under the six-month grace period. 

Under a re-elected Liberal government, Trudeau would also freeze loan repayment for new parents until their child reaches the age of five.

In an email to The Journal, Jeremey Ambraska, president of the Society of Graduate and Professional Students—Queen’s graduate student government—wrote that while the Society doesn’t endorse any political party, it’s happy to see that student issues are being raised in the federal election campaign.

“It is imperative that all political parties listen to the concerns and voices of students. For graduate and professional students the cost of tuition continues to be a concern. Students should not be prevented from transitioning to the workforce, starting business or starting families because of unpayable student debt.”

The AMS didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.

The Conservative Party has promised to raise contributions for Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) from 20 to 30 per cent for every dollar invested up to $2,500, to a maximum of $750 a year.

Promising to work with the provinces and territories, the New Democratic Party (NDP) wants to work toward free college and university tuition.

The Green Party shares this goal, but also wants to forgive any existing federal student debt and increase Indigenous access to post-secondary education.

 

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