STANDING alongside students and professors worried about their futures and that of Laurentian University, Jagmeet Singh on Saturday in Sudbury, Ontario, promised to fight for Northern Ontario and tackle Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau’s national student debt crisis.
“Young people shouldn’t start their life under a mountain of debt. Instead of helping to cut costs, Justin Trudeau is letting young people be saddled with student debts the size of mortgages. And the pandemic has made it worse,” said Singh. “Justin Trudeau says he’s a friend to young people, but while he helped billionaires get richer and bailed out big corporations, he kept collecting interest and forcing students to make payments during the worst moments of the pandemic. We fought for supports for students, and won, and we will continue to fight for a more affordable, more fair, and more optimistic future.”
The NDP said that in the midst of the pandemic, Singh fought and won supports for students. On Saturday, he pledged to forgive up to $20,000 of student loan debt, remove interest from federal loans, and double federal student grants. He also committed to giving new graduates a five-year head start before without having to make any federal loan payments.
“When Justin Trudeau promised to help students, he used the opportunity to hand a $900 million contract to his friends at WE,” said Singh. “When banks and big corporations asked for help, Justin Trudeau rushed billions of dollars to them with no strings attached. Rising student debt should be something a prime minister wants to fight – not cash in on. I’m not Justin Trudeau. I will stand up for students and forgive student debt so they can have a better head start for a brighter future.”
Singh said Trudeau’s government has charged Canadians more than $4 billion in interest on student loans. And, under his watch, more than half of university graduates in Canada now carry student debt, with the average loan hitting $28,000.