Questioning Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke candidates: Frances Litman – Green Party

The Victoria News asked the candidates the following two questions about helping young Canadians find work and international refugees.

  • Sep. 30, 2015 2:00 p.m.

Canada’s youth unemployment rate is at 13 per cent, what would your party do to help more young Canadians find work?

The Green Party will create a national Community and Environment Service Corps, providing $1 billion/year to municipalities to hire Canadian youth. This program will provide paid employment for 40,000 youth every year for four years, for a total of 160,000 youth positions. Youth completing the program will receive a $4000 tuition credit that they can apply to further education and training.

Our proposed Canadian Sustainable Generations Fund will make critical investments in trades, apprenticeships, and education, and will ensure that all Canadians have the skills and training to prosper today and contribute to building the Canada of tomorrow. These investments in skills training will complement targeted national infrastructure investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy production, digital upgrades, clean-tech manufacturing, tourism, the creative economy, and emerging technologies.

Youth are struggling under a burden of student loans. Greens would move to eliminate tuition fees for post-secondary education and skills training for Canadians by 2020, starting with those who are least able to pay. Existing student and future federal student debt would be capped at $10,000. We will also remove the inadequate two per cent cap on tuition for all First Nations and Inuit students.

What should Canada’s role be in dealing with international refugees?

Canada should be among the world leaders in accepting international refugees. For example, we believe that Canada should be accepting up to 40,000 refugees from Syria over the next five years. We can do more to help. We should be using the Canadian Armed Forces to help bring Syrian refugees to Canada by the most efficient means possible, and those with family in Canada should be allowed immediate entry to complete their processing in safety.