Knock Out Interest Calls on Federal Government to Help Ease Student Loan Debt
Douglas College and JIBC Students Join Knock Out Interest Campaign Calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Eliminate Interest on Canada Student Loans Permanently
Student unions at two post-secondary institutions in New Westminster are adding their voice to a call on the federal government to ease the burden of student debt.
The Knock Out Interest Campaign calls on the federal government to permanently eliminate interest on student loans. It has been endorsed by 40 student unions representing more than 750,000 students across Canada.
Among them are the Douglas Student Union, which represents more than 17,000 full-time and part-time students at Douglas College, and the Union of Students of the Institute of Justice, which represents 700 students from the Justice Institute of BC
Students want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to act now, especially in light of the current COVID-19 crisis.
“Life in Canada is increasingly unaffordable, and the interest charged on student loans is just another way to turn young Canadians down,” said Caitlin Spreeuw, director of external relations at the Douglas Students’ Union, in A press release. “Eliminating interest on student loans alleviates some of the pressures faced by those who need to borrow to access education, especially in this time of economic downturn and high youth unemployment. ”
The student campaign points out that over the past 20 years, tuition fees across Canada have more than doubled and education spending has increased dramatically. During the same period, student debt increased 78%, reaching nearly $ 35,000 for a four-year bachelor’s degree. Over a 10-year repayment period, a loan holder pays more than $ 4,000 in interest.
MORE GOVERNMENT ACTION NEEDED: STUDENTS
Governments have already taken steps to address the problem.
The press release notes that five provincial governments have decided to eliminate interest on the provincial portion of student loans. The federal government also reduced interest rates on student loans and froze accrued interest on student loans for the 2021/22 school year.
The press release also acknowledged the federal government’s moratorium on student loan payments, issued at the start of the pandemic.
Students say eliminating interest on student loans would help not only post-secondary students, but the Canadian economy as a whole. Their campaign notes that post-secondary education will be a powerful engine of post-pandemic stability in Canada and that eliminating interest on student loans would help ensure that those who must return to school to retrain in order to jumpstart the economy. not be penalized for doing so.
“Students and young people have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. The economic recovery will take several years; to support recent and future graduates, the federal government should permanently eliminate the interest charged on student loans. said Spreeuw. “Today we send an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to launch a pan-Canadian week of action urging it to eliminate interest on Canada Student Loans.