Budget

Young Canadians central to 2016 federal budget, Liberal MP says

Scott Brison tells Dalhousie students what the new budget has to offer them

Dalhousie student Holly Fisher talks about her mealworm food project as Liberal MP Scott Brison samples a worm cookie.
Dalhousie student Holly Fisher talks about her mealworm food project as Liberal MP Scott Brison samples a worm cookie.   Payge Woodard

Chocolate chips and mealworms.

These were two of the ingredients in Dalhousie University student Holly Fisher’s cookies.

Fisher, a third-year animal science student, had the chance to show off her project to Liberal MP of Kings-Hants, Scott Brison, Wednesday at Dalhousie’s Sexton campus.

“It was great to get the exposure out there, and actually teach him about something that’s going on locally with agricultural is fantastic,” Fisher said .

Turning bugs into food

The project, called Three Meals, is part of the school’s Cultiv8 Sandbox, which allows students to test entrepreneurial ideas.

The worms are grown in Nova Scotia and then turned into flour that can be used in food like Fisher’s cookies.

“It’s a sustainable and nutritional food source,” Fisher said about mealworms.

Brison said the project is addressing a key challenge facing the planet. He said turning mealworms into food is a solution to feeding a growing population in a carbon-constrained economy.

“When we talk about innovation and research and the future of agriculture, this is the kind of investment in agriculture that can enable the world, to feed an emerging middle class in a way that is sustainable environmentally,” he said .

The 2016 budget

The Liberal’s federal budget, announced Tuesday, included a $2-billion investment for a new Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund that will roll out over the next three years.

The fund is supposed to modernize on-campus research, commercialization and training facilities.

Young Canadians are central to the new budget, Brison said, noting there’s a yearly grant of up to $1,000 for lower- and middle-income college and university students.

An additional $300 million has also been put into the Canada Summer Jobs program, which Brison said will double the number of jobs for students.

Students graduating from Canadian universities with loans hanging over their heads will also be assisted. Brison said loans will not go into repayment until the borrower makes at least $25,000 in annual income.