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Liberal promises ‘just a way to get young voters,’ student says

Riley Miracle is a 22 year old student from Wilberforce,Ontario, Photo by Andrew Harper [1]

Riley Maracle, a 22-year-old Loyalist College student from Wilberforce, Ont., says he’s unsure about the Liberal party’s promises on student debt. Photo by Andrew Harper

By Andrew Harper [2]

BELLEVILLE – Loyalist student Riley Maracle says he’s uncertain about Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s recent promises about helping post-secondary students.

On Monday, as he announced his full detailed platform [3] for the Liberal party, Trudeau promised that Canadians coming out of college or university will not have to repay student loans until they reach an annual salary of at least $25,000.

Maracle graduated  from the Journalism Online, Print and Broadcast program at Loyalist last spring and is now doing a second diploma in the public-relations program. He says the propositions by the Liberal party are helpful, but they could do more.

“It’s okay in a way, (but) $25,000 a year isn’t a great salary,” Maracle said. “I know some people who graduated last year who are barely surviving on $25,000 a year. I think this is just a way to get young voters.”

The Liberals have also proposed increasing the maximum Canada Student Grants for low-income students to $3,000 annually for full-time students and $1,800 for part-time students, an increase of 50 per cent.

The party promises to work with the provinces on education and providing support for those who need it.

According to a Statistics Canada report [4], in 2009-10, almost 43 per cent of college graduates and 50 per cent of university graduates required government or non-government loans to help finance their education. College students graduated with an average debt of $14,900, while for university students the average debt was $26,000.