By Valerie Dittrich
Federal Green Party of Canada candidate Elizabeth May announced her party’s campaign plan to allocate $10 billion to post-secondary and trade school supports at Ryerson’s Centre for Urban Innovation this afternoon.
In addition, the Green party wants to make post-secondary education free for all Canadian students and forgive the portion of existing student debt held by the federal government.
“The goal here is that we think about lifelong learning, that we reduce the debt load that students have and that young people have [when] starting in life,” said May in an interview with The Eyeopener. “That’s a big problem.”
May added that eliminating the cost of tuition will also alleviate the burden of future debt and she also wants to reduce the debt of former students who took out a federal student loan.
“We really hope that the provinces are collaborative and cooperative with us,” she said. “There’s so much strong evidence that we can do this.”
The party also promised in a statement to “remove the two per cent cap on increases in funding for Indigenous students” to “ensure that all Indigenous students have access to post-secondary education,” citing Canada’s treaty obligations for Indigenous people with a focus on reconciliation.
May said she and her party chose to make the announcement at Ryerson because of the “astonishing” work of Toronto-Centre riding Green party candidate, Annamie Paul, as well as the other Green party candidates representing the city.
“When we cross the country, we try to match up a plank announcement with some candidates that are impressive, where we can give them a bit more attention,” said May. “It’s an announcement we hope reaches across Canada, but gives a particular lift to our Toronto candidates.”
The federal election is taking place on Oct. 21.