Trudeau in Victoria to speak on $4.6B education package in Budget 2024

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at the University of Victoria on April 19, 2024.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Victoria on Friday morning to meet with students and highlight the $4.6 billion package that was earmarked for education and research in this year’s federal budget.

Trudeau spoke at the University of Victoria, alongside Federal Minister of Citizen’s Service Terry Beech, to break down the numbers in that package.

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A whopping $2.6 billion of the package will go towards scholarships, research grant funding and fellowships.

The funding marks a 30 per cent increase over five years to Canada’s core research grant programs.

Meanwhile, Trudeau pointed to a $734 million boost in the budget for research at universities and other institutes.

Some of that funding will go towards the TRIUMF subatomic physics research lab at the University of British Columbia, which also has ties to the University of Victoria, according to Trudeau.

Education affordability

The remaining $1.3 billion included in the education portion of the budget is intended to make post-secondary education more affordable for students.

The funding will be used to extend the full-time Canada Student Grants increase from $3,000 to $4,200 per year, for an additional year, as well as the interest-free Canada Student Loans, which will remain at $300 per week, up from $210, for another year.

The funding will also increase the housing allowances for the Canada Student Financial Assistance Program, which will help an estimated 79,000 additional students per year with housing costs.

Budget 2024 was unveiled on Tuesday, with the budget projected at $535 billion for 2024-25 with a deficit of $39.8 billion.

That’s up from the $497.5 billion budget in 2023-24, and a slight decline from the projected deficit last year of $40 billion.

Among the announcements Tuesday was a plan to potentially build more housing on Department of National Defence land, including at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt.

With files from the Canadian Press

Adam Chan

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