Who should students vote for? Imprint asked the federal Waterloo candidates why students should vote for them.

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Imprint

(Alphabetically ordered)

Lori Campbell, NDP: “Being a student myself, I understand what problems most students face and my party’s platform addresses these issues.”

OSAP: Every student who qualifies for OSAP  will get a non-repayable grant instead of a loan.

Co-op: More paid co-op and internship opportunities will be created that will allow students to graduate with real-world experience.

Academia: Allow more contract educators to become full-time professors and instructors, and invest in more tenure-track faculty positions, so that students are less discouraged from pursuing a path in academics.

Bardish Chagger, Liberal Party(incumbent): “To Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, students are not just the leaders of tomorrow, they are the leaders of today and we need to make sure that we are working with students and for students.”

OSAP:  Increase the maximum Canada Student Grant for low-income students.

Ensure that no graduate with student loans will be required to make any repayment until they are earning an income of at least $25,000 per year.

The federal government will continue to pay the interest on student loans until graduates begin to earn sufficient incomes to take over their own payments and repay their own loans.

Co-op: Increase the number co-op and summer jobs for students

Kirsten Wright, Green Party: “I came to the green party because I am sick and tired of parties and politics and want to focus on constructive solutions. Students invest in education in the hopes of finding employment when they graduate, and a strong economy is the key to creating more jobs. Building good jobs is the key to supporting the economy of the future, and new solutions for green energy will be an important high-tech field in this economy.”

OSAP:  Abolish tuition fees for post -secondary education and skills training for students without adequate financial means, guaranteeing that income is never a barrier for qualified students.

Give graduates a hand-up by implementing a debt-forgiveness program. This would eliminate any existing or future student federal debt above $10,000.

Jerry Zhang, Conservative Party: “I believe in a balanced budget. The national debt we’re accumulating today is almost $700 billion dollars. If divided by the population of Canadian families that’s $50,000 per household. According to StatsCanada, our demographic is changing and we are stepping into an ageing society. Also, a working age Canadian supports roughly 2.5 seniors and in less than 20 years this number will be doubled. And the reality is that there will be a lot of pressure on the younger generation. This demographic change will require the younger generation to work much harder and I think the government needs to prepare for that if it truly thinks in the best interest of the younger Canadians.”

OSAP: Supports the elimination of the inclusion of parental income and assets in the assessment of loan applications while supporting a loan availability model based on personal resources.

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