My current stipend just barely covers rent, food, transportation, and other bills. Purchasing or even renting my own place is not an option because the cost of living in the city is so high. I have to take on extra teaching work to save a little bit for a rainy day and to put towards my student loan repayment. These extra teaching responsibilities mean I have less time to focus on research. The lack of funding for graduate students and postdocs and increasing costs of living means I can not afford to remain in academia after graduate school.
If graduate funding was CAD $35,000/yr for all students, how would that change your life? If I had a $35K graduate award and postdoc positions paid $60K I would be looking to stay in academia and pursue a postdoc position in Canada. The increased stipends would help me pay off my student loans and provide some of the financial security needed to rent my own apartment or start a family and have kids earlier in life.
Additional Comments: Most graduate students are in their mid-20s/30s. We aren't who you would typically consider a student. Most other aspects of our lives are often put on pause while we are doing research and completing graduate school.