KENORA – Whenever I travel across the riding I hear about the importance of building a strong economy. Strengthening Canada’s middle class also means supporting students as they transition into the workforce.
Recently we’ve made some significant changes and announced funding for programs that aim to help students just beginning their careers so that they can become an integral part of our economy.
Improving Student Loans
As of November 1, no student will have to repay their Canada Student Loan until they are earning at least $25,000 per year.
Additionally, borrowers who are having difficulty making their monthly payments can apply for help through the Repayment Assistance Plan. With these enhancements, borrowers in need will be getting financial relief so they can focus on finding the right job to start a career, without the management of loans becoming an overwhelming burden.
Another great part of the change, is that graduates currently re-paying their loans, who are not making $25,000, can contact the National Student Loans Service Centre and re-apply based on the policy changes. Their payments will stop, and they will not be required to make payments until they reach the income threshold.
This means the changes affect not only future graduates but also current graduates who are re-paying loans.
This relief is in addition to increased supports.
As of August 1, the Government is increasing the amount that a student can borrow by up to 50 percent. For example, full-time students from low-income families see an increase in their ability to borrow from $2,000 to $3,000 per year.
Middle-income families’ limits will increase from $800 to $1,200 and for part-time students from low-income families the limit will increase from $1,200 to $1,800 per year. Of course, many businesses and organizations are also looking forward to another year with the Canada Summer Jobs program. Last spring we increased our investments into the program from $176,614, to $837,319 in the Kenora riding alone.
As a result, an additional 261 jobs were created in our riding.
I am confident both students and employers will once again take advantage of this program in 2017.