I am fortunate to receive 'top-up' money in addition to the award through TAing and small ($325/month) research stipend. This however it is insufficient to meet my personal care. I recently had to go without dental work due to the costs – it was the choice of eating healthy or having healthy teeth. The tri-agency scholarships are supposed to reduce the amount of TAing for top-tier trainees and allow for more dedication to the prominent research happening in Canada. However, that's simply not the case. I take on a similar number of TA hours to ensure that I have enough money for rent, transportation, food, and family.
If graduate funding was CAD $35,000/yr for all students, how would that change your life? I already have 35k/year and still it is insufficient (CGS-D). I would also like to make it abundantly clear that there should be an increase to NSERC CGS-D and CHIR scholarships. It should not be that PGS-D is removed and all students receive 35K. It needs to be increased across all the awards.