Party promises to youth from across the spectrum

By 
  • April 27, 2011
Canada goes to the polls on May 2ndWith so many promises being made in the lead-up to the May 2 election, it can be easy to lose track of the issues that matter.

Here are the promises the Liberals, Conservatives and NDP are making to young people, straight from their party platforms.


The Liberal Party

Employment

- To encourage youth getting hired, a Youth Hiring Incentive will give small and medium-sized businesses a full rebate on Employment Insurance premiums for every Canadian youth — between the ages of 18 and 25 — hired.

Education
- Addressing the costs of post-secondary education, the Canadian Learning Passport will provide $1,000 a year (or $1,500 a year for low-income families) over four years for every high school student to use towards college or university.

Health Promotion in Schools
- Through the proposed Canadian Health Promotion Strategy, the Liberals will work with the Council of Ministers of Education to set targets for physical activity in schools and encourage education and promotion of healthy foods in primary and elementary schools.

Service
- Initiate a Canadian Services Corps to financially support Canadian youth wishing to do volunteer service abroad.  
- The Canada Service Corps will forgive $1,500 in student loan debt for young Canadians who donate at least 150 hours of service in a year, in a Canada Service Corps volunteer position, after graduating from post-secondary education.



The Conservative Party

Employment

- Extend support for the Canada Youth Business Foundation, which provides loans and mentoring to young entrepreneurs.

Education
- Enhance the Canada Student Loans Program for part-time students to respond to increased demand for assistance in career transition through post-secondary education.
- Double the work exemption for Canada Student Loans to allow students to benefit more from part-time employment.
- 30 industrial research chairs will be established at colleges and polytechnics so students can interact with innovative researchers.

Youth Crime
- Propose to make permanent its Youth Gang Prevention Fund to help at-risk youth avoid criminal activity.


New Democratic Party
Education

- The NDP proposes to increase the funding to the Canada Student Grants Program by $200 million a year, targeting accessibility for aboriginals, disabled and low-income students.  
- Make post-secondary education more affordable by directly attacking rising tuition costs with an $800-million transfer to the provinces and territories to lower tuition fees, as per the NDP’s Post-Secondary Education Act.
- Raise the education tax credit from $4,800 per year to $5,760 to help with increasing education costs.

Employment
- Re-introduce the federal minimum wage law to set a national standard of earning for those who make the lowest wages in the work force.

To access the party platforms, see www.itsyourvote.ca.

(Compiled by Sarah Gagliano and Vanessa Santilli.)

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