LATEST VIDEOS FROM CTV REGINA
Dozens march against Sask. budget cuts in Regina
Published Thursday, March 30, 2017 12:55PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, March 30, 2017 5:20PM CST
Close to 100 students and members of the public rallied against last week’s provincial budget Thursday afternoon.
The group marched from Regina’s Victoria Park to the Legislative Building as a way to call attention to education funding cuts.
The province reduced funding to post-secondary institutions by five per cent, saving more than $30 million this year. Student aid has been cut by more than $6 million, and scholarship funding is down by $1.8 million.
“As a post-secondary student here in Saskatchewan, this is devastating. Now I’m in fear of, ‘When will my education stop? When is my opportunity of education going to be put on hold?’” said First Nations University of Canada student Heather O’Watch.
University of Regina Student Union president Jermain McKenzie was at the legislature when the budget was released last week. He said he was heartbroken to hear of the decreases.
“I literally cried because my mind instantly went to all the students that have sat in my office this year, trying to comfort, and just how devastating it is to watch somebody talk about their future and watch their future slip away,” said McKenzie.
Some students decided to speak up. The day after the budget was released, a handful of U of R students formed ‘Students Mobilizing Against Cuts’ (SMAC). The group – along with the U of R Student Union – organized Thursday’s rally.
“These are austerity measures,” said SMAC representative Kelsey Morrison. “They should not have put this financial burden on the lower and middle class, especially when we look at them lowering the corporate tax rate.”
Morrison said her biggest fear right now is that university programs and services will be cut, and tuition will increase.
The province was not available for comment on Thursday.
Members of the student union and SMAC said they presented a list of their demands to the government. While they wait for a response, Morrison said they will continue protesting the cuts.