The Runner | CASA 2022 pre-budget statement calls for affordable education

(Kristen Frier)

Canadian Alliance of Student Associations Pre-Budget Report Recently Released declaration includes five recommendations that the Canadian government can implement to support post-secondary students.

CASA is a organization which represents and defends post-secondary students to the Canadian government. The organization is made up of 24 university student unions across the country and represents more than 300,000 students.

Kalin McCluskey, Executive Director of CASA, says all of the recommendations in the pre-budget submission were created to ensure post-secondary education is more affordable, accessible, innovative or of the highest quality for students.

“All of our claims are always based on evidence and evidence-based policies that are endorsed by our members year after year,” she says.

To ensure that these or any other recommendations aimed at improving student life reach the government, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations is lobbying and bringing student leaders to Ottawa to meet with parliamentarians. They also organize meetings with MPs.

The pre-budget statement summary shows how the pandemic has affected students, causing layoffs and affecting the cost of tuition and school supplies. The summary states that additional support from the federal government would be beneficial for students, and CASA’s recommendations were created for students who do not meet the requirements to receive the Canada Student Grant.

The first two recommendations are to have a “non-refundable Canada Student Grant for graduate students in financial need at an estimated cost of $58 million per year” and to “change the dates for the payment of apprenticeship incentive grants to provide initial support. apprentices at the start of their study period.

Both of these recommendations should help graduates who do not meet the requirements to receive a Canada Student Grant, and the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant may provide better financial support for students than the current roughly $2,000 grant available to them.

For apprentices to receive the grant, they to have complete their first cycle of education and training.

“Anything that makes things more affordable for students, anything about Canada’s student financial aid, anything that also makes it more accessible, will be of the greatest value to students across Canada,” McCluskey said.

For other recommendations, CASA calls on the government to launch a pilot program that allocates $10 million annually to Canada’s research granting agencies to create “innovative and affordable” open educational resources available to students in English and in French.

Students only receive a maximum of $300 per loan year for “computer-related costs,” and the association is asking for the amount to be increased to $750, as the current amount does not take into account the cost buying a computer and paying for the Internet.

McCluskey says the association is focused on what the re-elected government plans to do for students, and the goal is to continue advocating for more affordable education.

“We are looking forward to seeing things move forward. Wanting to see things more affordable for students at all levels, including polytechnic, undergraduate and graduate college students,” McCluskey said.

Dorothy H. Lewis