COVID-19 relief funds continue to flow from Ottawa with yesterday’s announcement of a new Canada Emergency Student Benefit, a package to support students and recent graduates not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
The nearly $9 billion package is designed to provide assistance to students who are unlikely to find work this summer as pandemic-related social-distancing measures keep businesses shut and dramatically impair their summer job prospects. It would also provide temporary relief for new graduates unable to find meaningful work in their preferred fields.
The Canada Emergency Student 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. In addition, the federal government is proposing a new Canada Student Service Grant to help students gain work experience in their communities, providing them with a grant of up to $5,000 towards post-secondary tuition for the fall if they do “… national service and serve their communities.” Ottawa also proposed to:
- Expand existing federal employment, skills development, and youth programming to “create up to 116,000 jobs, placements, and other training opportunities to help students find employment and develop valuable skills this summer and over the coming months”
- Double Canada Student Grants for eligible full-time students to as much as $6,000 (the grant for students with permanent disabilities or dependents would also be doubled), and to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21
- Boost the weekly maximum amount that students can receive from the Canada Student Loans Program to $350 from $210 in 2020-21
- Provide $291.6 million to the federal granting councils to extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, and supplement existing federal research grants
- Enhance “eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student’s and spouse’s contributions in 2020-21” to help students save for the coming school year
- Provide an additional $75.2 million in support for 2020-21 to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation students pursuing post-secondary education
For more information on this federal government program and others designed to assist businesses or individuals struggling in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact a member of our team at any time.
Armando Iannuzzi, Co-Managing Partner