Canadian moves to assist students unable to work this summer due to pandemic

With millions of students not being able to get summer jobs because of the COVID-19 crisis, the government has stepped in to help.

“We’re launching the Canada Emergency Student Benefit to provide immediate help. At the same time, we will create new student jobs and double student grants, among other things. All of these measures will add up to approximately $9 billion.”

Member of parliament Salma Zahid said the proposed legislation for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit is expected to pass quickly, so students can avail of the benefit by May 15.

“It will be tabled in the House and once it passes, the portal will be up and running around mid of May as expected but students would be eligible to get payments as of 1st of May.”

The CESB will give students $1,250 a month for the next four months.

Students with dependents or who have permanent disabilities will get $1,750.

When the fall semester opens, students can get additional grants of up to $6,000 for full-time students, and $3,600 for part-time students.

There will be relaxed rules for student loans and a new community service grant.

“Those organizations who are trying to help their citizens get through this COVID-19 situation like there are food banks in their riding, there are people or organizations who are helping the seniors get their groceries or their medications delivered, so the new Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 to the students,” said Zahid.

Students welcomed the government’s help but said the $1,250 per month won’t be enough.

Both students have availed of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, or CERB, which gives 2,000 a month.

But Zahid clarified that those who have already availed of the CERB are no longer eligible for the CESB.

“Those students who have earned at least 5,000 in the last 12 months or 2019 and now, they cannot work because of COVD-19, they are eligible for CERB so they will get CERB. This Canada Emergency Student Benefit is for those who do not qualify for CERB.”

Despite all this assistance, students continue to hope that more help will come from the government.

“I just think supporting the students like maybe lower tuitIon and lower prices for textbooks,” said one student. “Maybe an increase with the benefits would be good, too, or just in general lowering prices for things.”

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