OTTAWA, Feb. 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Students from across Canada are in Ottawa this week meeting with Members of Parliament and Senators to present a plan that would ensure access to education and climate justice for all.

“Students are deeply concerned about the lack of action on the student debt crisis and the climate crisis,” said Sofia Descalzi, National Chairperson. “We must implement bold actions to ensure a livable, prosperous future for this generation and generations to come.”

Students will present MPs and Senators with six proposals to transform public post-secondary education in Canada:

  • Eliminate tuition fees for all students, restore core federal funding for post-secondary education and eliminate interest rates on the Canada Student Loan Program;
  • Invest additional funds to fully fund all First Nations, Métis and Inuit post-secondary students in Canada;
  • Strengthen Canada’s research capacity by increasing graduate student funding;
  • Eliminate differential fees for international students and improve pathways to permanent residency and citizenship;
  • Fully fund and implement a decarbonization strategy, including funding for retraining workers for green jobs;
  • Include the realities of student housing as part of the National Housing Strategy.

Students’ recommendations would put Canada at the forefront of the fight for climate justice and ensure equal access to post-secondary education, which is required for 70% of new jobs in this economy, for all. The recommendations also build on some of the investments this government has made in previous years to fund graduate studies, Indigenous learners and help student debt holders, but that fall short of the real, progressive, bold change that is needed to transform Canada’s economy and make it work for all Canadians.

“This past federal election, youth and students were clear, we need bold changes to transform our post-secondary education system and address the worsening climate crisis,” said Mary Asekome, Deputy Chairperson. “Students are looking to our federal leaders to be at the forefront of those changes.”

The Canadian Federation of Students’ lobby document, titled Be Bold: Education and Climate Justice for All, can be downloaded here.

The Canadian Federation of Students is the oldest and largest national student organization in Canada, representing over 500,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students across the country.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Geneviève Charest at g.charest@cfs-fcee.ca or 613-232-7394, ext. 226.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/498f1e33-2d1a-49f9-a459-ff54ba9407af