Local MP Matt DeCourcey met with students last week to discuss the upcoming federal budget. In attendance were members of the UNBSU, Union of Graduate Student Workers, STUSU as well as individual students from both campuses.
The meeting comes as a follow up to the federal finance minister Bill Morneau’s video conference with student representatives from across the country. The workshop-like atmosphere encouraged students to brainstorm ideas and concerns facing students.
Many students identified student debt, employment and investments in education as key concerns.
Alec Boudreau is a UNB student who attended the conference.
“Top of mind for many students right now is whether they’ll be able to get a job after they graduate, and whether that job will help them to pay down their debt,” Boudreau said.
“From that perspective, I think students’ budget priorities should be on initiatives which ensure them access to stable employment in their field, and which reduce their debt load.”
Students also highlighted interest in technical innovation, particularly green energy initiatives such as tidal power, that New Brunswick might take advantage of.
“It creates dialogue between our MP and students, and gives us a glimpse into the political process. It also equips Mr. Decourcey to go back to Ottawa being able to concretely say what his constituents want to see from their government,” Boudreau said.
The budget itself is expected to be presented sometime in April.