CFS Reports Grim Prospects for Students in Face of Recession
Wednesday, February 4, 20099 Comments
This is occurring at the same time as the student movement is demanding debt relief citing accessibility concerns. Canada Student Loan debt reached over $13 billion on January 21st of this year. This figure only includes debt owed to Canada Student Loans and excludes provincial and private loans.
Student prospects are looking bleak as banks are doling out less credit and companies are expected to hire less graduates. Students who rely on summer employment to fund their studies are also getting nervous. In December of last year alone statistics Canada is reporting 34,000 jobs lost. The Canadian Federation of Students criticized the federal government's inaction in a press release following the budget unveiling last week. The budget allowed for $2 billion dollars to be spent on campus infrastructure but critics say nothing is in the cards for student debt, student unemployment and increased access to an already stressed education system.
The CFS points to Barack Obama's promises as being a more progressive, long-term plan. The American federal government has planned to increase funding to the needs-based "Pell Grant" and an extra $500 million for student jobs. The CFS called Harper's latest budget "underwhelming" when compared to plans south of the border. They point to a recent Harris-Decima poll commissioned in November 2008 which shows that nearly 60% of Canadians believe that federal government should maintain program spending during the recession, whether or not this results in running a deficit.