Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the students of McMaster University, Mohawk College and other post-secondary institutions in the great riding of Hamilton West, I repeatedly wrote to the Minister of Finance suggesting he assist students faced with increasing tuition fees and rising debtloads.
What a response. In the first balanced budget in nearly three decades the minister did what? He introduced the Canada study grants for students with children. He extended the repayment period for Canada student loans to 15 years. He increased contributions to granting councils such as the MRC.
He allowed Canadians to temporarily withdraw from RRSPs for lifelong learning. He extended the education credit to part time students. He introduced the Canada education savings grant. He launched the Canada millennium scholarship foundation.
He improved Canadians' access to the information highway. He provided employees with EI premium holidays to hire youth and he offered tax relief to students who must pay interest on their debt.
What a difference five years of Liberal government make. Thanks to the Minister of Finance, Canada's most valuable resource are the first to benefit from a balanced budget.