Sheehan Talks Support for Students

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The past Friday, Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie, MPP David Orazietti, and representatives from Sault College met to discuss the important steps Canadian governments are taking to support young Canadians and students.

The federal government released its 2016 budget, Growing the Middle Class, last week with the aim of growing the economy and enacting real change for Canadians.

“In Budget 2016 the Government of Canada is showing its commitment to young Canadians and students. Rising costs have made post-secondary education less affordable, and those who receive financial assistance often find it difficult to pay back. This budget is a step toward changing that,” said Sheehan.

Budget 2016 proposes a package of reform to the Canadian Student Loans Program. It includes a commitment to increase Canada Student Grant amounts by 50 percent to help low- and middle-income families and part-time students with the costs of post-secondary education.

These measures will put more money in the pockets of 360,000 students per year, and mark the first update to the program since 2009.

“In this budget we have increased the loan payment threshold so that no student graduating from college or university has to start repaying their student loans until they are earning at least $25,000 per year. That’s an important change,” said MP Sheehan. “We want recent graduates to enter the workforce with excitement instead of fear because of their loans.”

The federal government has also committed to working with the province of Ontario to expand eligibility for the Canada Student Loans Program so that even more students can benefit from assistance they don’t have to pay back.

“In addition to helping students, our government has also committed to helping youth looking for work. On top of the $330 million the Canadian Government commits every year to the Youth Employment Strategy, we will invest an additional $165.4 million to help young people gain the skills, and work experience they need.”

“We’re going to create new jobs in a number of sectors, and that funding is in addition to the $339 million already announced for the Canada Summer Jobs Program. It’s great news for students and young people,” said Sheehan.