Election 2011 Day 4 Ignatieff Pledges Money For Students

Julian Wolfe
March 29th, 2011

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff speaks Tuesday at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont., where he announced a $1 billion program for post-secondary students.
The Liberal Party of Canada unveiled its Canadian Learning Passport which promises money for students going to high school, cegep and university. The new program would cost the equivalent of Harper’s G20 summit and give young Canadians the boost that they need to be competitive in the work force. Harper continues with his fear campaign. Layton attacks credit card debt head on.

Ignatieff Offers Hope to Students in Need

Michael Ignatieff unveiled his billion dollar post-secondary education program what he said would be a “real revolution” in learning and training.

The Details of the promise include:

A tax-free gift of up to $4000 to every student who chooses to go to college, (cegep in Quebec), or university and will be distributed in up to four annual payments of $1000.

For post-secondary students who live in low income families, the gift will value as much as $6000 and be paid in up to four payments of $1500 annually.

This program will be given in addition to the already existing tuition tax credit, Canada Students loans Program and Canada student grants program.

“I can say without exaggeration that this is a real revolution in learning and training in Canada. And that will give us the means of becoming the most competitive society in the world.”

Michael Ignatieff

In an afternoon briefing, Liberals said that no money would be given to the student unless they could prove that they were enrolled in post-secondary studies.

If elected, this new policy would take place immediately and students would receive their first $1000 this year.

If the student completes schooling before the benefits are fully paid out, the remaining money would be in the bank for whenever the student decides to go back to school.

Meanwhile, Harper warns that this new policy means tax hikes. Did Harper ever consider the possibility that a Liberal Government would scrap Conservative waste? This new policy approximately equates to 1/6 the cost of Harper’s corporate tax cut, 1/56 the cost of Harper’s new fighter jets, 1/30 the cost of Harper’s super prisons. The Liberals maintain that they will not raise taxes.

The Conservatives also said in a press release:

“Michael Ignatieff proposes to have the federal government give them $1,000 per year, but they would lose $1,200 per year from Canada Student Grants.”

Conservative Press Release

Liberal briefers re-iterated that their new program would not effect eligibility for student loans or grants.

Layton: Canadians Pay too Much for Credit Cards

Jack Layton lead the charge against what he calls the highest credit card interest rates in the world. His plan is to cap the interest rate to 5%.

Layton pitched his new policy saying, “It will allow banks to recoup a profit while keeping family debt loads manageable.”

He also took a jab at Harper stating, “And unlike Stephen Harper’s latest idea, my plan will help Canadians families now — not in 2015.”

A Liberal Party statement states that Layton’s legislation was poorly thought out and could hurt low income Canadians arguing that evidence from other countries have demonstrated how credit card companies would find other methods to get the money that they would lose with Layton’s proposal. This would include increasing monthly fees and charging larger late fees. Low-income customers, Liberals say, could be out right refused due to their high-risk when it comes to making a profit.

Michael Buzanis, New-York based Moody’s vice president and senior credit officer in Toronto said that Canadians are much better off than Americans. CBC reports that he said that we pay 32.8% of our balance every month in comparison to only 20% by Americans to their balances.

“We don’t see the high consumer debt levels so far morphing into a credit problem. The performance of credit cards and the performance of mortgages doesn’t evidence stress yet.”

Michael Buzanis

The NDP made similar pitches in the 2004 and 2008 election campaigns.

Layton defended his policy stating that “We have very large banks in Canada. There is not a lot of competition one to the other. The result is you need to have a government standing on the side of the people.”

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   Categories: Conservative, Economy, Education, Election, Families, Harper, Ignatieff, Layton, Liberal, Military, NDP

On Monday, the longest campaign in modern history will come to a close and if current polls are any indication, Canada may be seeing a change in government after 9 years of Conservative rule under the leadership of Stephen Harper. Accountability was his calling card in 2006 and today, accountability may very well be one of the defining reasons for his departure.

In its length, in its cost and in its debate schedule, this election is unusual. The first and possibly only real debate of the campaign ended and here are the highlights of what happened.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper left Rideau Hall this morning with Governor General David Johnston’s approval to drop the writ and Canadians are now officially headed to the polls on October 19. For the first time since fixed election date legislation was brought in by the Conservative government, a fixed election date has been followed.

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