Remarks by Nobina Robinson: Canada Apprentice Loan announcement

Photos from the announcement at BCIT can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bcit/sets/72157650200104475/

 

It is an absolute pleasure to be present today with Prime Minister Harper, Minister Kenney, Minister Findlay and my thanks to our host today, Kathy Kinloch, President of BCIT and a Board member of my association, Polytechnics Canada.

There is much to celebrate in the good news that the Prime Minister has announced today – let me outline three reasons why we are so pleased:

First, the creation of this new program to assist apprentices is directly attributed to the advocacy of Polytechnics Canada. As proud as we are, we are also humbled that our advocacy work has had such a profound resonance with decision-makers in Ottawa. Even as we were delighted to see our ideas captured in Economic Action Plan 2014, it is all the more wonderful to learn about the new Loan program and to see it in action here today.

Next, with these important loans, more apprentices will be able to pursue the next level of their technical training at institutions including polytechnics such as BCIT. The Government recognized the financial burden faced by apprentices when they return to the classroom while maintaining their monthly financial obligations. We heartily endorse the objective of the Canada Apprentice Loan to help more trades trainees complete their apprenticeship and become certified journey persons.

Finally, we celebrate the vision behind this new loan. Before now, apprentices could not benefit from the generous supports of the Canada Student Loan program; as of today, apprentices in Canada’s Red Seal trades can be sure that the federal government regards them both as postsecondary learners, and as vitally needed workers. This was a question of equitable treatment for all those pursuing higher education and training. The Prime Minister, Minister Flaherty and Minister Kenney saw this and agreed.

We are so pleased to see the long-hoped for Federal recognition of the solutions that our model of advanced applied education provides for made-in-Canada talent. For this, and in the name of so many apprentices in the country, we thank you.