Dear Students of McMaster University,

Thank you for this opportunity to share the NDP plan to make post-secondary education more accessible.

New Democrats know that improving access to post-secondary education is an integral part of building a fairer, more equitable society where nobody is left behind. When we invest in education and skills training and create jobs for youth we can all reap the benefits.

I’ve met with too many students who are graduating with more debt, fewer job opportunities and a more endangered environment. They’re tired of wondering how they’ll be able to buy their first home when they’re drowning in student debt.

New Democrats believe that cost should never be a barrier when accessing post-secondary education; and all Canadian students deserve the opportunity to attend accessible and high-quality public post-secondary institutions. Young people have a vital role to play in shaping this country’s future — your future. I know this firsthand; I’m proud to be working with a strong youth caucus who are bringing new energy to Parliament

Hill. Members of the NDP youth caucus have introduced:

  • A comprehensive Post-Secondary Education Act (MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan) which would ensure stable and predictable federal funding for universities like McMaster and help ensure the quality, accessibility, public administration and accountability of those programs.
  • Intern Protection Act (MP Laurin Liu) which grants protections including the right to refuse dangerous work; limits on excessive hours; and protection from sexual harassment to all interns in federally regulated industries. The bill also requires that internships be primarily for the intern’s benefit; include training; and cannot replace paid employees. Finance Minister Joe Oliver included our work to protect unpaid interns in the recent Conservative budget.

Our youth caucus is working on issues that matter to young Canadians and proving what’s possible when our elected officials actually reflect our society.

The NDP is offering a positive vision for all Canadians. We believe that together we can build the Canada of our dreams— a Canada where everyone belongs, and no one is left behind. This fall Canadians once again have the opportunity to choose hope and optimism over fear and cynicism.

Please accept my best wishes for a successful school year at McMaster!

Sincerely,

Tom Mulcair

Photo Credit: iPolitics

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