Minister Filomena Tassi sits down with a copy of the Algonquin Times during her in-person visit to the college on Thursday, April 14. Photo credit: Magan Carty

Filomena Tassi, the federal minister of public services and procurement, visited and toured Algonquin College’s Woodroffe campus on Thursday, April 14.

The MP for Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas is travelling to various parts of the province to talk about the 2022 federal budget, which was released last week.

Minister Tassi said it is important not only to talk about the budget, but to get input from stakeholders across the country.

“We’re always listening,” she said. “The way that we make informed decisions is by taking the time to really listen to Canadians.”

Access to quality post-secondary schooling is important to Minister Tassi, who believes “education is meant to empower.” She spent 20 years as a high school chaplain and has confidence in the ability of young people to positively impact the future.

“If we can provide students with the supports they need to recognize their gifts and their passions, and be able to develop those gifts and passions, then there’s no greater investment than that,” she said.

No matter what post-secondary institution a person chooses to attend, it should feel like home, according to Tassi.

This is how her daughter made a final decision between two schools. After visiting both campuses, she chose the place that felt like she was meant to be there.

“Students know when their school is there for them, and I feel that here at Algonquin,” said Tassi.

Community colleges play a vital role in contributing to the future of economic growth. The more comfortable and safe students feel to take risks, the more of a difference they will make in their communities after graduation.

Tassi wants every student to be able to dream big and speak up about what they need so they can be the best they can be.

She knows the contributions of students are going to make a huge difference across the country.

“The best way that Canadians can benefit from the gifts of students is to provide them with the opportunity to have those gifts flourish and develop,” said Tassi.

She also acknowledges certain students experience more barriers than others, for reasons far beyond their control.

“It is critical that we bring down those barriers,” she said, “because the success of our future relies upon it.”