The most recent attack on post-secondary education comes in the form of significant cuts to the Student Employment Experience Development (SEED) program.
The total funding of the program has been cut by $4 million, the number of vouchers has been reduced by almost half and the duration of the job placement has also been reduced.
Last year, under a Liberal government more than 2,000 students were able to find a summer job under the program, with many of those jobs lasting up to 14 weeks.
This comes shortly after the cancellation of the Free Tuition program (FTP), the Tuition Relief for the Middle-Class program (TRML) and the Timely completion benefit.
“The importance of providing post-secondary access to New Brunswick students is crucial to our growth and success as a province” said Arsenault. “If we want our young people to stay and work in New Brunswick, if we want to grow our economy, and if we want to raise families out of poverty, we need to do everything we can to provide access.”
“Getting rid of free tuition reduces access for those who can’t afford school. Now this government is telling students who do need the money from a summer job, Sorry we’re taking that away from you too.”
On Tuesday, Mr. Arseneault presented a motion and sent a formal letter to the Premier urging him to reconsider this decision and restore SEED funding to the 2018 level.
The motion resolves that “the Legislative Assembly urge the government to restore the funding to the SEED program so that many of those students who rely on summer employment to pay for their post-secondary studies will be able to do so.”