By Madison Gummow
Summer jobs are essential for many post secondary students but the COVID-19 pandemic has made summer jobs a rarity. Today, the Canadian government announced a nearly nine-billion dollar plan to help ease the worries of struggling students.
The money will be put towards financial aid for students to live and pay upcoming tuition and to create jobs for students. Students would be eligible for $1,250 per month along with other benefits.
“The future of our economy and our country relies on the opportunities and support we provide to Canadian students today. To promote a sustainable economic recovery, we need a strong workforce and good job opportunities for young people. That means giving them the support they need to continue their studies and encouraging them to serve their communities,” said Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.
The new plan includes launching:
- The proposed Canada Emergency Student Benefit, which would provide support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This benefit would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. The benefit would be available from May to August 2020.
- The new Canada Student Service Grant, which will help students gain valuable work experience and skills while they help their communities during the COVID‑19 pandemic. For students who choose to do national service and serve their communities, the new Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall.
“In order to ensure that post-secondary students are able to confidently continue their studies in the fall, our government is proposing significant measures to support them. From students who were counting on summer employment to pay their tuition to recent graduates who were planning to start their careers, our government has their back during this challenging time,” said Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance
Changes to existing financial support programs for students include:
- Double the Canada Student Grants for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21. The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents would also be doubled.
- Broaden eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student’s and spouse’s contributions in 2020-21, in recognition that many students and families will struggle to save for school this year.
Enhance the Canada Student Loans Program by raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350.
- Increase existing distinctions-based support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation students pursuing post-secondary education by providing an additional $75.2 million in 2020-21.
- Extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, and supplement existing federal research grants, to support students and postdoctoral fellows, by providing $291.6 million to the federal granting councils. In addition, the government intends to enhance work opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows through the National Research Council of Canada.
“Our young people have the energy and skills to help heal Canadian communities from coast to coast to coast. Our government is committed to providing enhancements to programs such as the Canada Service Corps to ensure our greatest resource – our people – can contribute and succeed. Because young people are not only the leaders of tomorrow, they are the leaders of today,” said Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth