2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Photo courtesy of Patrick Dunn // Pexels

2023 Alberta provincial election: Jason Copping

By Eula Mengullo, May 23 2023—

Jason Copping is a current Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for the United Conservative Party (UCP) representing the Calgary-Varsity division. 

Having served as an MLA since 2019, Copping is confident in his ability to be receptive to student concerns, highlighting his achievements of creating more job opportunities that would allow students to stay in the province, while introducing additional seats for students at the University of Calgary. 

Some of the programs that have already been expanded include the School of Veterinary Medicine to address the shortage of veterinarians in the province and the increase of the number of seats at the medical schools both at the U of C and the University of Alberta. Furthermore, there are current plans to introduce a physician assistant program to help provide care for Albertans.

“It is investing more money in the University of Calgary for more programmes so Albertans have the opportunity to take the training, and then get jobs after graduating,” said Copping. 

“I’m asking to be reelected as our MLA by students so that they can, number one, have great job opportunities after they graduate, and number two, there’s more space in the universities for that as well,” he continued. 

Recognizing the significance of access to health services, he mentioned that students can expect continued investment in recovery and mental health services. 

“Mental health is an incredibly important issue and access to services, so we will continue to invest not only in Recovery Services for those suffering from addiction, have access to mental health services and ensuring that we not only have the staff to do that, but the programmes to be able to support young people and students,” said Copping. 

In addition to the two per cent cap on tuition announced in February, Copping highlighted that they have introduced changes to better support students financially.

“We’ve also increased the amount of funding both in terms of bursary funding, and access to student loans, because finances should never be a barrier to going to school,” Copping said. 

“And we will continue to assess the support for students as we go forward.”

They have also reduced interest rates for student loans and extended the appointed time of payment from six to 12 months. 

“Our commitment is to continue to assess our programmes to make sure that to see if they’re working, and whether or not Albertans, including students need any further assistance,” he continued.

Copping explained that while they are targeting funding for particular programs and occupations, this leaves room for discretion for the university to decide how funding should be spent. 

“The targeted funding in 2023 was 200 million of six billion for overall programming, so that’s a very small percentage of the overall amount,” he explained.

“And what we are doing is we are leaving broad discretion for post-secondary institutions like the University of Calgary to make decisions about how to support all the demands that are on the system and interests of students as well,” said Copping. 

“200 million out of the six billion is actually quite a small percentage and we’re leaving that up to the universities to decide what is the right mix so that people can both get an education to contribute to society, plus have the skills they need to get a job.” 

In his closing remarks, Copping hopes to continue representing the University of Calgary and the voices of its students.

“The University of Calgary is a fantastic institution. It’s one of the leading research universities in the country and they turn out fantastic students,” said Copping. 

“It is an organization that actually drives jobs, does a phenomenal work of training students and we are continuing to invest in advanced education, particularly targeting the areas where we need more supply, and healthcare is a prime example. If reelected, I will continue to represent the University of Calgary, represent the voice of students and make sure that we have a strong, growing economy so there’s job opportunities when students graduate.”

To learn more about Jason Copping visit the UCP website.

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

The Gauntlet