2019 Voter's Guide Factsheet: Post-secondary education

Most of the political parties have a drastically different approach to post-secondary education. In this election, Canadians will be able to choose which promise is worth supporting for the future of the country.

Ottawa (16 Oct. 2019) — It's hard to get a job these days without some kind of post-secondary employment or training, yet tuition fees continue to rise forcing more and more students out of the picture. When students quality for assistance (which is also getting more difficult), students and often their families are paying back the debt years after graduation. 

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) outlines many of these concerns in its 2019 Voter's Guide, and puts party against party on their promises and track records. 

Post-secondary education in Canada 

Although education in Canada falls under provincial jurisdiction, the federal government still has a role to play, particularly regarding student loans and grants. In 2018/19, the federal government transferred $14,616 billion through the Canada Social Transfer (CST) to the provinces and territories, part of which was used to support post-secondary education.

In 2019/20, provinces and territories will receive $14,586 billion through the CST.

Student unions make priorities heard 

In September 2019, in an attempt to get federal parties to consider their priorities in the run-up to the 2019 election, student unions from post-secondary institutions representing almost 900,000 students, have joined forces.

Together, they released a joint letter outlining their top policy priorities:

  • the elimination of interest on federal student loans and the increase of federal grants;
  • the creation of high-quality jobs and work-integrated learning opportunities; and
  • an increase in support for Indigenous students.

The goal is to get every party leader to acknowledge the letter and pledge to address the priorities. 

Issues and Campaigns
Occupational Groups


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE