Students suffer under McNeil’s reign

March 28, 2017

For Immediate Release

HALIFAX –Stephen McNeil has made it more difficult for students to live, work, and start a life here in Nova Scotia, according to NDP Leader Gary Burrill. The Standing Committee on Human Resources is discussing student employment today.

“The challenges facing young people today are immense. In order to get the education you need in today’s economy, students are forced to take on record levels of debt, and there aren’t the jobs or the wages students need when they graduate to pay it off,” said Gary Burrill. “The McNeil Liberals have boasted about 80 summer jobs in the public service, but seem to have forget the $40 million they cut in support for new graduates.”

Over the last two years, Nova Scotia has lost more jobs for young people than any other province. According toStatistics Canada data, Nova Scotia has lost 6,200 youth jobs since February 2015.

The McNeil Liberals have also made it more difficult for young people to get the education they need. Tuition fees in Nova Scotia are increasing at a higher rate than any other province and the McNeil government cut the Graduate Retention Rebate, which provided about $49.5 million in support to recent graduates.

This weekend, the minimum wage will increase by $0.15 or 1.4 per cent. In 2016, tuition fees increased on average by 5.6 per cent in Nova Scotia. A student working minimum wage would have to work 665 hours, or full time for almost 5 months, to pay for tuition fees alone, not including living expenses, books, or other expenses.

“For students paying thousands of dollars for an education, an extra nickel and dime just doesn’t cut it,” said Burrill. “The NDP is prepared to make major investments in our colleges and universities and ensure students have a chance at building a life here in Nova Scotia without being crushed under a mountain of student debt.”

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For more information please contact Kaley Kennedy at (902) 229-6881 or kaley.kennedy@novascotia.ca