MEDIA ADVISORY: Provincial budget provides relief for adult basic education and English language training
VICTORIA (September 11, 2017) — Today, the Province of British Columbia announced the details of their budget update, which included the elimination of tuition fees for adult basic education and English language training. These programs are vital tools to help lift people out of poverty and serve as a good step forward for improving access to education in British Columbia.
“This is exactly the kind of programming the government should be expanding access to,” said Noah Berson, vice-president external at the Capilano Students’ Union. “The decision by the previous government to charge for these programs was indefensible and we are glad to see this mistake corrected.”
Adult basic education and English language training are key tools for recent immigrants and those who, for whatever reason, were unable to graduate high school to be able to put themselves on a path to success.
“Many of those enrolled in these programs are working service sector jobs for minimum wage and can’t afford the cost and risk that comes with attempting to complete their high school education,” said Caitlin McCutchen, chair of the Alliance of BC Students, a student lobbying organization of which the CSU is a member. “We are happy to see that the this government has listened and we look forward to continuing what has been a very rewarding relationship.”
Other budget changes of interest to students include an increase in capital spending for post-secondary institutions to expand academic buildings, an increase to the carbon tax to help combat climate change, increased funding for 1,700 new affordable rental units, and expanded enforcement of residential tenancy rights.
Noah Berson, vice-president external
Capilano Students’ Union
e [email protected]
NORTH VANCOUVER – The Alliance of British Columbia Students (ABCS) released research today outlining the way that a minor change in government policy would unlock nearly two billion dollars in new housing in British Columbia. The Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) contributed to the research effort, and the data indicates that for only $18 million dollars per year over a ten-year period, the government could enable the construction of over 20,000 units of rental housing in the form of student residences.
“We think it’s a huge untapped possibility, and would go a long way to fixing the housing market in Metro Vancouver,” said Sacha Fabry, vice-president of external relations for the CSU. “All that’s holding this back is a thin line of red tape, stopping universities from building the housing our cities badly need.”
The effect on Capilano University would be profound. The housing market is so constricted on the NorthShore that students are beginning to live farther and farther from campus. This reduces their quality of life and further chokes the congestion on the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge. Pulling students out of nearby rental markets, or those as far away as Burnaby, Coquitlam, or Surrey, opens up rental opportunities for others, helping the entire region.
Because of government regulation, there have been almost no new residence spaces added to BC universities, other than at UBC, over the past ten years. In that same time, student population has increased significantly, including international students.
“We keep hearing stories from our students, living out of their cars, or spending 50, 60 or even 70% of their income on rent,” said Jullian Kolstee, CSU president. “Students just can’t afford to live in this region, and the province has all of the power to change that.”
The ABCS has launched a campaign called “Where’s the Housing?” that can be found at wheresthehousing.ca, calling on the government to strip the red tape that prevents students from getting out of the rental market and onto campus. There are a number of events planned through September to continue to highlight this campaign and the dire need for more housing in Metro Vancouver.
CSU PRESS RELEASE: CSU board votes to encourage CapU and CFA to reach fair settlement to avoid job action
March 27, 2015 – North Vancouver – The elected board of directors of the Capilano Students’ Union (CSU), at a board meeting on March 25, voted to encourage a swift resolution to the impending labour dispute between the Capilano Faculty Association (CFA) and Capilano University. The CSU’s position does not support either party over the other, but encourages a fair settlement as soon as possible to avoid disruptions to students’ classes and exams.
Throughout the week of March 9, the CFA (the union representing faculty members at CapU) conducted a strike vote, which garnered over 80% support in favour of job action if the ongoing negotiations hit an impasse. If a strike is implemented, that could mean a range of consequences for CapU students – from faculty members’ withdrawal of voluntary services; to partial or rotating strikes; to a full-scale strike, shutting down classes and deferring exams. The CSU hopes that the parties resolve their differences before that happens.
“The best outcome for students is for a fair settlement to be reached before any job action is taken,” says Sacha Fabry, the CSU’s vice-president of university relations and services. He continues to say, “It’s important to remember that the root cause of the current dispute is inadequate funding for post-secondary education by government.”
The CSU is committed to acting as a hub of information for all CapU students as the situation unfolds. Students are encouraged to keep themselves informed by checking the CSU website for updates at csu.bc.ca, to look for membership bulletins online and around campus, and to keep themselves connected and involved in the conversation through the CSU’s social media.