Despite everything that 2020 has thrown at us, this year has also included some really significant victories for students and for the student movement here in BC. As the year winds up, we wanted to take you through some of our highlights to show that there were, in fact, many bright points to celebrate!
The Federal government’s fiscal update, unveiled on November 30, misses the mark on supporting young Canadians in the midst of the COVID–19 pandemic. Instead of providing financial support to those who need it now, the statement makes promises for a so-called “post-pandemic economy”, thereby pushing much-needed aid into the future.
The Federal government’s recent decision to extend the moratorium on student loan repayment is being applauded as an important action to support Canadians. While technically non-binding, the resolution passed in the House of Commons by unanimous consent which means it has the support of all parties – including the governing Liberal Party.
The British Columbia Federation of Students stands in solidarity with the Mi’kmaq and strongly condemns the varying uses of violence directed at Mi’kmaq property and their members for operating within their rights given to them by the settler-state. For far too long we have witnessed that the letter of the law and the enforcement of it seems to only apply when it is in the interest of settlers against Indigenous people instead of providing protection and support as stated in such laws.
We made it — it’s September and a new school year is here!
This past year has been interesting to say the least… time has somehow felt like it’s been in slow motion and on fast forward all at once.
The COVID–19 pandemic means this school year will be very different: returning students will continue to adapt to studying online, new students have had their vision of their first semester at college or university turned upside down. As we move through the coming months, we will all undoubtedly have more ups and downs to navigate.
In early July, Canada’s Auditor General released a report that called on the federal government to step up its recovery of outstanding student loans, stating that outstanding student loans were an unfair burden on taxpayers in BC.
Yet the report ignores the root cause of student debt – historically high tuition fee levels – and instead seeks to further penalize people who cannot afford to pay for their post-secondary education up-front.
BC is in the midst of an economic downturn resulting from the COVID–19 global pandemic. Entire sectors of the economy have shut down or minimized operations, and it could be some time before
they are running at their pre-February 2020 capacity. In times like these, education is a crucial tool that governments have used to spur economic recovery by training or re-training those who lost their jobs and are seeking new employment.
The BC Federation of Students condemns the violence perpetrated by the RCMP officer against a UBC Okanagan student during a “wellness check” in early 2020.
The willful ignorance and use of force against the student, which recently became public, is inexcusable.
National Indigenous Peoples Day is an opportunity to learn more about the Indigenous communities in your area, and to participate in their incredibly rich and diverse culture. It is a time for celebration, ceremony, and unity across the country.
The whole world is watching the most recent events of police brutality, with George Floyd as one of the most recent victims, being murdered by Minnesota Police Officers. As protests have broken out across the United States we have all been a witness to police violence against protestors.
Students across British Columbia have been hit hard by the COVID–19 pandemic. A swift, chaotic shift to online classes paired with the virtual disappearance of summer employment has left many feeling anxious about their future. Lost or forgotten in the mix of emergency responses from provincial and federal governments are international students.