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Students protest BC cuts to aid

B.C. students are already unhappy about going back to school in September, according to a news release from the Canadian Federation of Students.

Shamus Reid, chair of the CFS-BC, says the provincial Liberal government has broken an election promise to maintain funding for student aid.

"This is the worst possible time to be cutting financial aid. Young workers are usually the first to be laid off and we rely on student aid programs to get through rough patches."

Reid said: "On July 22, internal government communication was leaked to the media that outlined funding cuts to the following programs:

Permanent disability benefits program (eliminated).

Debt reduction in repayment (eliminated).

Loan reduction for residential care aide and home support workers programs (eliminated).

Health care bursary (eliminated).

Early childhood educator loan assistance program (under review).

Premier's Excellence Award (eliminated).

Repayment assistance program (delayed).

According to Reid, "In 2003, the BC Liberal government eliminated the province’s grants program. Today, B.C. ranks last in Canada in proportion of student assistance expenditures on non-repayable aid."

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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