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Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and Oakville candidate Max Khan speak to students at Sheridan College on March 29, 2011. (Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and Oakville candidate Max Khan speak to students at Sheridan College on March 29, 2011. (Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Campaign Notebook

Would CEGEP students make a profit off Liberal grants? Add to ...

The devil's in the details, and the Liberal Party is scrambling to explain how its " learning passport" would apply to Canadian students depending on the province in which they study.

The original Liberal announcement said the new initiative would provide $1,000 a year - or $1,500 a year for students from low-income families - to help pay for four years of post-secondary education.

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"When the student starts post-secondary education, the Learning Passport contributions will be paid out at the start of each year of full-time study, up to a maximum of four years," the Liberal announcement said.

The announcement stated the funding would apply to students who attend "an accredited post-secondary university, college or CÉGEP."

CÉGEPs are unique to Quebec, offering two- or three-year programs between high school and university.

However, tuition in CÉGEPs comes in at about $500 a year. When The Globe and Mail pointed out the Liberal program would pay more than a year's cost of tuition and books, a member of Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff's entourage said the students could save the surplus amount for future university studies.

However, the Liberal war room went on to contact The Globe and explain that in the case of CÉGEP students, the Liberal plan would not offer the full $1,000 in funding every year. Instead of four payments at $1,000 or $1,5000, the Liberal program would spread out the funding over five years in the case of Quebec students.

The party added that more tweaking could occur to reflect that variety of education programs across the country.

 

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