As critic for Post-Secondary Education, I posed the following question today (Oct. 25th) in the House of Commons.
Collectively, Canada's students are on the hook to the federal government for more than $15 billion of debt.
A record high.
That does not include private debt, such as bank loans and credit cards.
With that kind of debt load, how will this generation be able to contribute to the economy?
The Canadian Federation of Students has a plan to cut student debt in half by 2015.
Will the Conservatives work with us, the New Democrats, students, and their families to reduce student debt?
Diane Finley (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development):
In the process of job creation, we actually ensure that we have people with the skills and talents to fill those jobs.
That is why our government has been proud to streamline and improve Canada's student loan program.
However, we also brought in the Canada student grants program that allows up to $250 a month per student.
This is non-repayable. That helps reduce their debt.
We have also restructured how they can pay it back so that it is not impinging upon their lifestyle.
All these efforts to help students get the education they need, unfortunately, were not supported by the NDP.