NDP candidate for St. John’s East Mary Shortall sent out a press release on the NDP’s plan to help post-secondary students.
Shortall states that students in Newfoundland and Labrador have been among those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. She points out that post-secondary students were initially left behind when the Liberal government began COVID-19 supports and that it was the NDP who fought to include them. “Students cannot continue to be left behind,” she says.
Shortall then states that “Students are struggling when they graduate, so we want to go beyond just eliminating entirely interest. We want to also forgive student debt to make sure that they’re not being crushed under the weight of that debt.” Shortall says that students are experiencing a record level of debt that is far more debt than many of those around her age group when they went to university.
Shortall states, “we want to encourage our graduating students to stay in the province. We need them to stay in the province – not put them in the position where they are forced to leave.”
Further, Shortall points to the five points of the NDP Plan for young people:
- Eliminating interest on federal student loans
- Introducing a debt forgiveness program that in the first year alone will wipe out 20% of all student debt
- Permanently doubling Canada Student Grants
- Building affordable and accessible housing, addressing cell phone and internet costs, introducing pharmacare and investing in childcare
- Tackling climate change while creating a green recovery to lift up the next generation
Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.