Ron McKinnon
Ron McKinnon
Member of Parliament for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam
Budget 2021 –Analysis by Ron McKinnon, MP What is in Budget 2021 for Coquitlam Youth & Students?
April 28, 2021

What is in Budget 2021 for Coquitlam Youth & Students?

Waiving Interest on Student Loans for an Additional Year

To ensure that the cost of post-secondary education in Canada remains predictable and affordable for everyone during the economic recovery:

Enhancing Repayment Assistance

Every year, the Government of Canada provides repayment assistance to approximately 350,000 borrowers with low incomes. Currently, the threshold for this support is earning $25,000 per year or less for a single borrower. To ensure that no federal student loan borrower ever has to make a payment they cannot afford:

Doubling the Canada Student Grants for Two Additional Years

Over 580,000 students each year rely on federal grants and loans to help them cover the cost of their tuition, school supplies, and living expenses. When the pandemic caused other sources of income for students—such as part-time jobs— to dry up, the Government of Canada helped out by doubling Canada Student Grants for the 2020-2021 school year, providing an additional $2,600, on average, of non-repayable aid to students in need. That effectively covered 90 percent of the average undergraduate tuition in Canada for low-income students during the pandemic.

Expanding Access to Supports for Students and Borrowers with Disabilities

Students with disabilities face some of the highest costs and most significant barriers to long-term success. Every year, the Canada Student Loans Program supports over 75,000 students and borrowers with permanent disabilities through enhanced grants and repayment assistance. But these supports are not available to students whose disabilities are not lifelong.

Supporting Vulnerable Children and Youth During the Recovery

COVID-19 has made life especially difficult for students at risk of dropping out of school. These students rely on local after-school programs for tutoring, counselling, and other social supports that help them stay in school, graduate on time, and access post-secondary education. As the pandemic drives education online and dries up private donations, these organizations continue to rely on their government to bridge the gap and support their vital missions.

Helping Youth and Students Build Job Skills and Connect with Employers

Young Canadians have seen more job losses due to COVID-19 than any other age demographic. That not only deprives them of income that could be used to pay for schooling, build their savings, or cover basic living expenses but can also lead to long-term consequences by disrupting essential experiences in the crucial early years of their working lives. These impacts are often more severe for youth facing multiple barriers to employment, such as Indigenous youth, racialized and Black youth, and newcomers to Canada.

To ensure youth and students can access valuable job skills and experience, Budget 2021 proposes investing $721 million in the next two years to help connect them with employers and provide them with quality job opportunities.

Student Work Placement Program

Supporting Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Care Information and Services

All Canadians should have access to a full suite of sexual and reproductive health resources and services, no matter where they live. Women, youth, LGBTQ2 people, racialized Canadians, and Indigenous populations face the highest sexual and reproductive health risks and the most significant barriers to accessing support, information, and services. They often do not receive the same quality of care, mainly if they are from marginalized communities. Furthermore, examples like Clinic 554—New Brunswick’s only private abortion clinic—show us that lack of funding puts access to sexual and reproductive health care at risk. Everyone deserves equal treatment in our health care system.

To improve access to sexual and reproductive health care support, information, and services—including protecting access to abortion care:

Diverting Youth Away from the Justice System

At present, certain groups of young people are significantly overrepresented in the youth criminal justice system. In 2018-19, 43 percent of youth admitted to correctional services were Indigenous — over four times higher than their share

of the population.

The government is committed to addressing systemic inequities in the criminal justice system. That includes at early stages, when, instead of going into custody, young people can be redirected to community-based programming that encourages rehabilitation and reduces criminal behaviour over the long term. To address the overrepresentation of certain groups and reduce youth crime

and youth incarceration rates:

To read the Budget 2021 speech or to review the budget documents, please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/services/publications/federal-budget.html

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