Prime minister comes to campus, discusses 2023 federal budget

Budget boosts environmentally friendly manufacturing, student supports

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaking with engineering students about their electric race car project.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made an appearance on campus today to discuss the 2023-24 federal budget. Dozens of students gathered around the back entrance of the Stanley Pauley engineering building to listen to the media conference.

The Stanley Pauley building is home to the Price Innovation and Prototype Centre, where engineering students develop environmentally friendly initiatives and technology such as the U of M Society of Automobile Engineers’ high-performance electric formula race car.

This year’s federal budget aims to work toward building a sustainable economy that complements the work engineering students do while they’re in school.

“Budget 2023 invests in the industries you’ll soon be leading,” Trudeau said.

He referred to the federal government’s proposed Clean Technology Manufacturing tax credit, which the budget describes as a “significant incentive to boost private investment in Canadian critical minerals projects and create new opportunities and middle class jobs in communities across the country.” The refundable credit will be equal to 30 per cent of the costs of new machinery and equipment used to create sustainable technologies.

As for issues concerning student funds, Trudeau said that while these students are still in school, the federal government will also work to “make things more affordable.” 

The budget proposes to dedicate $813.6 million as a boost to student financial supports beginning Aug. 1 of this year. This includes increasing the pre-COVID $3,000 Canada Student Grant amount by 40 per cent and raising the amount students can receive from interest-free Canada Student Loans each week.

“An investment in [students] is an investment in our economy, the middle class and a strong future, and that’s what Budget 2023 is all about,” he said.