The Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA) said it will continue advocating for government funding in post-secondary education and support for students, following the unveiling of Ontario’s 2021 budget.
In a press release on Mar. 31st, WUSA stated that it is disappointed that the needs of students weren’t prioritized in the provincial government’s budget for the upcoming year. The statement also highlighted concerns surrounding the rising unemployment rate, potential future income losses and long-term consequences of this period. More details are provided on the WUSA website.
“In the aftermath of the pandemic, young people are going to endure the most significant financial challenges. The government’s failure to invest in students at this critical time demonstrates a lack of support for a vulnerable population and an unwillingness to invest in the economic success of the next generation,” WUSA asserted.
“To combat these challenges WUSA implores the provincial government to implement OUSA’s OSAP recommendations and implement a funded extension to the tuition freeze,” WUSA stated.
Many youth in the workforce (ages 15 – 24) work in high risk jobs that are essential to the economy, and those who do not face financial challenges as it becomes difficult to make ends meet or afford tuition and basic necessities.
Ontario’s 2021 Budget, released on Mar. 24, has two vital priorities:
- Protect People’s Health by “defeating COVID-19”, “fixing long-term care”, and “caring for people”, largely by providing integral resources like PPE to frontline workers and investing in health care to grow the workforce and provide healthcare to those who need it most.
- Protect the Economy by “supporting workers and families”, “protecting jobs”, “supporting communities”, and “building a modern government” with a proposed “Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit for 2021”, another round of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant that will now deliver an estimated $3.4 billion to approximately 120,000 eligible small businesses, and planned infrastructure investments over the next 10 years total $145.4 billion, including $16.9 billion in 2021–22.