Even with the CGS-D award, which is the highest funding offered from NSERC, I am struggling with the cost of living in Vancouver. I'm also a single parent, which exacerbates the situation. In order to stay in my PhD program, I live in an illegal suite over an hour away from my institution. If I were evicted (i.e., my landlords decide to sell) I would not be able to afford to live anywhere in the city or neighbouring suburbs. My research requires lab work on campus, so likely I couldn't finish it. A living wage in Metro Vancouver, as of 2019, is roughly $42,000. Graduate students winning the very top national scholarships should make a living wage for the research they contribute to their institutions and Canada, regardless of what city they live and work in.
If graduate funding was CAD $35,000/yr for all students, how would that change your life? This is what I make now and it is not enough. I would support this change for all those making even less than I am.