During this pandemic, it is important to remember that people, not corporations, are the engine that will drive Canada’s economic recovery.
People make up the social fabric that has carried communities, provinces, and countries through hard times. COVID-19 has provided us with a unique opportunity to take stock of what is important and to collectively re-imagine what a Canada centred around people looks like.
Educated people are crucial in our economic recovery. Eliminating interest on federal student loans is an investment in people and our collective success, which our economic recovery hinges on. People are retraining due to job losses; young people are trying to better themselves through education and the interest charged on student loans punishes those who cannot afford to pay for their education up-front. On average a student who needs a loan will pay $5,000 in interest. That money could be reinvested in the places graduates live and work – paying their bills, rent, buying groceries, and supporting families and local business, instead of adding another layer of debt to middle- and low-income families.
It’s time for the Trudeau government to truly invest in educating people by eliminating the interest on student loans. Five provinces have already done it including B.C., yet the federal portion of a loan is typically 60 per cent of a student loan, which means the majority of the loan is still being taxed. People need access to education now more than ever, so what is the Trudeau government waiting for?
Carissa Wilson, Rebecca Lennox, Emma Warren, Ariella Waddell
North Island College Students’ Union