March 6, 2023

The BC government has recently unveiled the 2023 BC Provincial Budget. 

We are happy to see a Budget that reflects some current immediate needs of communities across BC, including access to free prescription contraceptives for BC residents. A few wins from this budget for our members also include:

  • $575 million allocated to student housing for spaces in high demand areas,
  • Raising the student loan repayment threshold from $25,000 to $40,000 per year,
  • Dropping the “affordable payment amount” from 20% of annual family income to 10%,
  • Keeping BC student loans interest-free since 2019; and,
  • Increased health spending, focused specifically on mental health, addictions and treatment services.

However, student voices and issues are overwhelmingly not reflected in the 2023 Provincial Budget. Students did not see an increase in funding for sexualized and gender-based violence support on campus. This is another fiscal plan that does not reflect how unsafe students feel on campuses across BC. This will only continue to worsen as the provincial government does not provide adequate funding and mandated support for students. 

Next, students did not see a cap on tuition hike rates for either domestic or international students. International students continue to be crushed while rising inflation rates make surviving in British Columbia even more difficult.

Finally, we were disappointed in the lack of increased funding for needs based grants, such as the BC access grants. With the current cost of living crisis, BC residents need relief.

Students are struggling, inflation is at an all time high and we hope the government of BC realizes that students need support and need to do better for the students who have continued to pursue an education even in the face of insurmountable odds. 

Eshana Baran

Vice-President External and Community Affairs

[email protected]