For too many young people rising costs have made post-secondary education less and less affordable. In Vancouver Quadra soaring house prices and rental costs add to the burden for students attending UBC. Fewer are able to save for their education, finding a job after graduating can take months or years, and many who received financial assistance find it hard to repay their loans. Budget 2016 reforms the Canada Student Loans Program to make postsecondary education more affordable for students from low and middle-income families. I recently met with a UBC grad student representative who expressed his appreciation for these reforms including a 50% increase in Canada Student Grants, providing $1.53 billion in assistance to students over the next five years. And, changes to loan repayment thresholds so that no student will have to repay their Canada Student Loan until they are earning at least $25,000 a year. The government has launched an initiative aiming to better align what is taught in post-secondary schools, with the expected requirements of future jobs and workplaces, and to support new co-op placements in a range of fields. It is more important than ever that post-secondary education be affordable, accessible, and relevant so that young Canadians can obtain meaningful work at the beginning
of their careers. Their future—in fact the future of all Canadians—depends on it.