The federal government announced the annual budget on March 21, which contained no changes to taxation and provisioned for minimal amounts of new spending. Canada will run an $18.7 billion deficit in 2013–14. This will be the sixth-consecutive year that the federal government has run a budgetary deficit.
The main focus of the 442-page document is jobs and skills training. The federal budget will have little effect on Alberta’s universities compared to the recent Alberta budget, which made deep cuts to post-secondary education.
The only new spending related to higher education was $70 million to support 5,000 more paid internships for recent graduates.
Various student groups across Canada, such as the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, have voiced their disappointment with the lack of focus on the over one million students in Canada.
National director of CASA Zachary Daylor said the budget neglects some key issues that are important to students.
“It does little to support those individuals who struggle to access post-secondary, which would help more people get a foot in the door of the labour market,” said Daylor.