Human Resources Legislative Update
Federal Government Announces Funding and Support Initiatives for Students and Recent Graduates Impacted by COVID-19
Date: April 27, 2020
On April 22, 2020, Prime Minister Trudeau announced the creation of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit and other initiatives for post-secondary students and recent graduates affected by the economic impacts of the COVID -19 pandemic.
These initiatives include:
- Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)
- the CESB will provide $1,250 per month per eligible student, or $1,750 per month for students with dependents and those with permanent disabilities, from May 2020 through August 2020
- post-secondary students and recent graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI), and who cannot find full-time employment or are unable to work due to COVID-19, will be eligible
- the CESB will be delivered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and more details will be made available.
- Canada Student Service Grant
- new initiative to encourage students and youth to participate in the COVID-19 response by taking part in national service activities
- the grant will provide up to $5,000 to support the student’s post-secondary education costs in the fall
- details will be made available on the new “I Want to Help” platform, including details regarding eligibility, the levels of funding available under the grant, how to apply for a national service position, and how applications will be assessed.
- International students
- restrictions that limit international students to working only a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session will be removed, until August 31, 2020
- this temporary rule change will only apply to international students who are “working in an essential service or function, such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods”.
- Enhanced Student Financial Assistance for Fall 2020
- the government has proposed changes to the eligibility requirements of the Canada Student Loan Program (CSLP) in 2020-2021, allowing more students to qualify and be eligible for greater amounts
- these changes will include doubling the non-repayable Canada Student Grants for full and part-time students, as well as for students with disabilities and students with dependents, in the coming academic year
- additional funding will be offered to provinces and territories that do not participate in the CSLP to assist with their student financial assistance programs.
- Additional Funding and Support for:
- the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, to create over 6,000 additional job placements in high-demand sectors such as agriculture, technology, health and essential services
- the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy’s Canada Summer Jobs program, including increased wage subsidies, expanded eligibility and new flexibilities for employers
- the Student Work Placement Program, to support up to 20,000 post-secondary students to obtain paid work experience related to their field of study
- the Supports for Student Learning Program, to help additional youth to complete high school and transition to post-secondary education
- the Canada Service Corps, to expand support for youth service projects that have positive impacts in communities, including increasing the number of microgrants and providing stipends to participants
- Innovation, Science and Economic Development, to support Mitacs in order to create 5,000 new job placements, and the creation of 5,000 to 10,000 new student placements through the Business/Higher Education Roundtable
- distinctions-based support to First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation post-secondary students
- support for up to 40,000 student researchers and post-doctoral fellows through the federal granting councils
- support for student and post-doctoral research placements within the National Research Council.
Once more details are released, we will issue a further communication.
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