New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh renews his pitch to young voters, promising an NDP government would cut up to $20,000 in tuition fees.
Singh says that if elected, he would also freeze federal student loan payments until the pandemic subsides and remove interest on student debt.
The announcement, set to be presented today as a campaign pledge ahead of a possible election this year, comes as federal parties prepare to compete for the hearts and ballots of young voters.
Statistics Canada found last fall that more than 60 percent of postsecondary students were concerned about using up their savings and going into even more debt.
The Liberals imposed a moratorium on Canadian student loan payments between April and September, but the freeze has long since thawed, and student groups have urged Ottawa to suspend interest obligations again.
Singh says the government has “benefited from the backs of young people” by collecting more than $4 billion in interest payments since 2015.
“Young people are paying student loans the equivalent of mortgage payments – spending years in crushing debt and unable to get ahead. And the COVID-19 pandemic has only made things worse,” he said in a statement.
“Education should help young people to get ahead, not fall further behind.”
Singh also reiterated his commitment to work with provinces and territories towards tuition-free post-secondary education.
CanadaFederal PoliticsNDP Leadership