High school students to Finance Minister Morneau: Reduce debt and increase spending on education and the environment
Despite the federal government’s plan to run deficits, two-thirds (66 per cent) of Canadian high school students believe that debt reduction should be a key priority. Students also want to see more investments in environmental protection and post-secondary education.
For the fourth time, high school students from across Canada participated in the Student Budget Consultation, a national initiative aimed at engaging youth in the federal government pre-budget consultation process. The project was coordinated by CIVIX, with the support of the Government of Canada, Interac and the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians.
More than 7,000 high school students took part in the 2017 Student Budget Consultation from more than 400 schools throughout the country, representing every province and territory.
Other findings include:
- Youth unemployment a concern – 68 per cent of students believe that there is a youth unemployment problem in Canada; making student debt more manageable (31 per cent) and improving access to quality jobs (27 per cent) are seen as the top remedies.
- Students confident in their own prospects – 87 per cent of students are confident in their individual ability to find and maintain a job they are interested in, despite believing that social mobility and raising a family will be more difficult for them than it was for their parents.
- Make post-secondary education more affordable – Students see increases to the affordability and accessibility of post-secondary education as the government’s most important means of helping youth and Canadian families (44 per cent).
- Environmental protection is a key priority – 61 per cent of students believe that protecting the environment is a critical national priority and that funding should be increased.
- Increase spending for education, health and innovation – Other top spending priorities include education (58 per cent), health care (47 per cent) and innovation (45 per cent); arts and culture was the lowest-ranked priority (32 per cent of students favoured a decrease in funding).
- Investments in affordable housing – 36 per cent of students noted affordable housing as the most important investment priority for their local area.
- Income inequality a growing concern – 61 per cent of students believe that income inequality is a problem in Canada today and a majority support raising taxes on wealthy Canadians (63 per cent) and corporations (53 per cent).
To view an infographic of the results highlights, click here.
To view the full results report, click here.
About the Student Budget Consultation
The Student Budget Consultation provides youth with an opportunity to learn about the government’s revenues and expenditures, discuss important political issues and suggested policies, and offer their insights on the priorities of the federal budget. The opinions of students are collected through a survey and the results are shared with the Department of Finance.
The 2017 survey was conducted in partnership with Vox Pop Labs between November 2016 and March 2017.
About the Organization
CIVIX national registered charity dedicated to building the habits of active and engaged citizenship among young Canadians. CIVIX provides experiential learning opportunities to help young Canadians practice their rights and responsibilities as citizens, and connect with their democratic institutions.
Student Vote, the flagship program of CIVIX, is a parallel election for students under the voting age coinciding with official elections. In the 2015 federal election, 922,000 elementary and secondary students cast a Student Vote ballot from approximately half of all schools in Canada.