By Kristy Koehler, September 30 2019—
During a campaign stop at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus, Justin Trudeau promised a re-elected Liberal government would provide extra help to students.
“More needs to be done, especially now,” said Trudeau. “Our Liberal team is stepping up, once again, to help students.”
A university campus seemed a fitting place for Trudeau to announce the Liberals’ full platform considering Canadian voter turnout rate between those aged 18–24 increased by 12 percentage points from the 2011 election to the 2015 election.
Trudeau promised to give students a two-year, interest-free grace period before being required to start paying back student loans. Currently, the grace period sits at six months. Repayment, even after the two years, would be contingent on graduates making at least $35,000 annually, up from the current $25,000 threshold. Payments would be put on hold should the graduate’s income level fall below $35,000 mark.
Trudeau also promised an expansion to the Canada Student Grant program.
“Today, I’m happy to announce that a re-elected Liberal government will further increase student grants by 40 per cent,” said Trudeau. “Today’s announcement, when combined with previous Liberal increases, will bring the maximum Canada Student Grant to $4,200 a year.
“Young Canadians heading off to school should be excited about this new journey, but instead are losing sleep, racking their brains over how to pay for it.”
The plan also offers to assist students who have recently become parents, promising to pause student loan repayments until their youngest child turns five, interest-free.
Trudeau offered no date to balance the budget, instead announcing an annual deficit of over $20 billion for the next four years. When asked about this, Trudeau stated that the Conservatives are “obsessed” with balancing the budget.
“We are choosing to invest in people and in their communities and at the same time stay responsible so that our debt-to-GDP ratio continues to decrease every single year,” he said.