2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Students’ Union lobbying led to Liberal platform point

By Emilie Medland-Marchen, October 27 2015 —

The University of Calgary Students’ Union claims it successfully lobbied the newly-elected Liberal Party of Canada on post-secondary issues during the election campaign.

The Liberals highlighted a series of post-secondary policies in their party’s platform. Promises included more flexible loan repayment options, investment in indigenous post-secondary education programs and a bid to reallocate education tax credits to federal student grants.

SU vice-president external Romy Garrido said the last of these promises was the direct result of lobbying by the SU the and Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) with Liberal Party president Anna Gainey.

“It was really just another lobby meeting for us and just happened to transform into a platform point,” Garrido said.

Despite being a non-partisan organization, the SU was open to meeting with any political parties during their campaigns. According to Garrido, the Liberals were the only party to reach out for a meeting.

Garrido says putting policy like the reallocation of tax credits to grants on the table during the election is an important part of the SU’s and CASA’s mandate.

“We think that tax credits are just a poorly targeted policy in the first place when it comes to post-secondary education,” Garrido said. “They tend to benefit those in the middle- and high-class who can already pay for post-secondary education.”

Garrido said many of these promises are a good start for
addressing student debt, but she will not be convinced of change until the policies are formally implemented.

“We will continue to lobby as the CASA federal lobby group for any promises that were made to post-secondary students,” Garrido said. “The Liberal Party made some interesting promises to aid affordability and accessibility, but I think they can absolutely do more.”

Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau will announce his cabinet on Nov. 4.

Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet