Without my partner's income, we would not be able to afford our apartment in Montreal. We have a child and my ability to spend time with them is compromised by the outside work I take on to supplement my stipend. Even though I had an award, I received reduced earnings during my maternity leave. I would not have been able to continue in graduate school without a second income in our household.
If graduate funding was CAD $35,000/yr for all students, how would that change your life? I would have been less likely to accept outside work that cuts into my research time and family time. It would be a more equitable environment for students in my department where earnings differ dramatically depending on external funding. Maybe we could own a car. I might have been more likely to consider a PDF instead of leaving directly for industry.