Elizabeth May Announces Support for Accessible and Affordable Post-Secondary Education at University of Victoria

Today, March 31, national
Green Party of Canada leader and Saanich-Gulf Islands candidate Elizabeth May
will campaign at the University of Victoria, starting with a meet and greet of
interested students at 12:00 noon in
front of the University of Victoria’s Student Union Building (SUB) on the side
by the Cinecenta theatre
. Following the gathering at the SUB, she will tour
the campus to meet students and urge them to vote.

Ms. May will announce the
Green Party’s support for accessible and affordable post-secondary education in
Canada, and for enhancing youth job training opportunities.

 “An educated society
is vital if we are going to create an environmentally sustainable, socially
just, and economically prosperous nation,” stated Elizabeth May, Canada’s Green
Party Leader. “One cannot overstate the importance of having an affordable and
accessible education. Not only does it expand and enhance one’s employment
skill set, but education fosters critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and
a wider knowledge base that is vital for making a better society and a healthy
democracy.”

"Young people deserve
a quality education that doesn't leave them with a debt sentence. Today
students are hit by a double penalty, where they must pay onerous tuition fees
and then interest on the money they were forced to borrow to pay for tuition.
To make matters worse, this is at a financially vulnerable point of most
students’ lives,” said Ms. May.

The Green Party of Canada
is in favour of increasing federal transfer payments to the provinces to
counteract the overall rise in tuition fees at post-secondary institutions, as
well as reducing student debt by forgiving portions of student loans. The Green
Party of Canada would also boost financial support for students through a
Canadian National Student Loan and Bursary Program. The program would provide
$1.2 billion in bursaries over three years for students in need.

“Canadian universities
need stable and reliable funding to ensure they are not captive to corporate
philanthropy which can taint the academic quality of the educational content
and process,” May noted.

A greater, reliable
funding plan would help to bring Canada's education system up to a level needed
to ensure innovation and create jobs for a prosperous, sustainable economy.

In addition, the
Green Party would target research grants to institutions with a specific focus
on applied research to support new technologies in renewable energy, smart
growth and energy conservation.  It would also expand industry-based job
training and apprenticeship programs to reduce Canada’s growing shortage of
trained workers.

For youth, the Greens
would develop a Youth Community and Environmental Service Corps that will
provide federal minimum wage employment for 40,000 youth aged 18 to 25 for four
years, for a total of 160,000 positions. At the end of each year-long program
there would be a $4000 tuition credit awarded to each participant that could be
applied to further education and training.

For more info
contact Elizabeth May at:
Debra
Eindinger
National Press Secretary
media@greenparty.ca
613-240-8921