LTC faces impending lawsuit
UWOSA snags contract and raise
CASA lobby on deck
Students await new Ministry's words
Shuffle means new programming
Western academics back Chretien's call
DriveSafe sobers street
Caught on Campus
CASA lobby on deck
By Stephanie Cesca
The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations believes "Education Builds a Nation" it also happens to be the title of their new campaign.
According to Kieran Green, communications co-ordinator for CASA, they will launch their new campaign Oct. 19 in Ottawa with hopes of lobbying against the federal government.
"There are four main platforms that are involved here," Green said and explained that the four proposals look to decrease the increasing student debt load.
CASA is proposing to eliminate the government sales tax on textbooks, increase post-secondary education funding to $4 billion, relieve interest on student assistance and eliminate discriminatory inter-provincial fees, he said.
Green also explained the latter proposal would greatly affect Ontario students, as many go to Quebec for university, yet pay high Ontario tuition rates.
Although the major lobby begins in October, Green said CASA is expecting to see some quick results. "We're optimistic we'll see the first three [proposals] accomplished in this upcoming budget," he said.
Ryan Marshall, president of the Alma Mater Society at the University of British Columbia and both the B.C. and Alberta director for CASA, said he empathized with students from Ontario who go to out-of-province universities. "They're paying twice as much," he said.
Robert Patry, co-ordinator of post-secondary education in Canada, said he has yet to hear from CASA with their proposals. "I'm not familiar with it at all," he said.
However, Patry said the Post-Secondary Expectations Project formulated by the federal government is intended to improve college and university education. "I think the document will be great for all provinces," he said.
When asked if the project proposed to increase student funding, Patry said the document addressed the idea of student debt and funding indirectly.
Mark Kissel, VP-education for the University Students' Council and Ontario's director for CASA, said Western can help support the campaign. CASA, he explained, is hoping to get 100,000 signatures from students all across the country. "My personal goal at Western is to get 10,000 signatures," he said.
Kissel added the signatures will send a message to Finance Minister Paul Martin as well as Prime Minister Jean Chretien about the ailing student debt situation. "It's a great way for students to get their message out."