Opportunities for Canadian youth
With a youth unemployment rate of 14%, we have a youth employment crisis in Canada. The skyrocketing costs of education and training are saddling Canadian youth with record levels of student debt.
It’s time for a government that makes the most of the talent and energy of young Canadians and invests in their future. Here are Paul Dewar’s commitments:
Your Canada Year
You volunteer a year to build a stronger, more caring Canada – Canada pays for a year of your post-secondary education and training.
How does it work?
The program connects eligible students between the ages of 17 and 25 to internship opportunities with non-profit community organizations. For 12 months, the student volunteers his/her skills to building a better Canada. In return, Your Canada Year grants up to $6,000 toward one year of tuition for post secondary education or training.
What does the intern get?
The opportunity to live and work in a different community, valuable hands-on work experience, a modest stipend of $500 to $1,500/month (based on need) for the year of service, a maximum of $2,000 for relocation costs, and a maximum of $6,000 toward a year of education or training tuition fees.
What does the non-profit get?
A highly motivated intern and fresh ideas.
Goals of the program:
- Inspire young Canadians to contribute to our communities,
- Create opportunities for young Canadians to earn hands-on work experience and live in a different community,
- Assist young Canadians with the cost of education and training.
In its first year of implementation, Your Canada Year will offer up to 10,000 placement opportunities.
$200 million for the first year of implementation
Reducing tuition fees:
Average tuition fees in Canada have ballooned by 400% in the last 20 years due to cuts by successive federal governments. By September 2010, student debt reached the unprecedented level of $15 billion.
Paul Dewar will reverse this trend by providing a dedicated transfer of $800 million per year to provinces for the explicit purpose of reducing tuition fees. This will result in an average tuition fee reduction of $700/student/year.
Targeted grants for post-secondary education and training:
Skyrocketing tuition fees have become an insurmountable barrier for many disadvantaged young Canadians seeking educational and training opportunities.
Paul Dewar will end this injustice by expanding Canada Student Grants Program by $200 million a year and targeting accessibility for Aboriginal, disabled and low-income students.
Immediate relief for graduates in debt:
As of September 2010, young Canadians and their families owe a staggering $15 billion to the federal government in student loans. The repayment options for these loans charge interest fees of up to 5% above the prime rate.
Student loans should not be a money-making scheme for the government.
Paul Dewar will provide immediate relief to everyone with student debt by reducing the interest on student loans to prime. This will save the average Ontario graduate $2,700.
Your Canada Year: $200 million
Tuition fee reduction: $800 million
Strengthening grants: $200 million
Immediate relief for graduates: $100 million
Total costs: $1.3 billion