(Ottawa, 22 April 2020) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) welcomes today’s announcement by the federal government of new supports for students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The financial support initially provided through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) left out many students,” says CAUT Executive Director David Robinson. “Today’s announcement of nearly $9 billion in funding for the new Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) and the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) will help students replace income, find summer jobs and launch careers.”
“It is also significant that the government announced an additional $75 million in support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation students,” added Robinson.
“The measures announced today are an important first step in providing support directly to students and indirectly to post-secondary institutions,” said Robinson. “However, more will need to be done if universities and colleges face enrolment and financial challenges in September. The federal government should be prepared to work with the provinces to provide additional funding grants to institutions as needed. We have to ensure that any new federal support is not offset by provincial cuts or tuition hikes.”
The new CESB will provide $1,250 per month for students (including recent graduates and future students) from May through August 2020, increasing to $1,750 for students living with a disability or who are taking care of someone. An additional $291 million will be provided to the federal research councils to extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships, and supplement existing federal research grants.
The CSSG will benefit students who choose to volunteer and serve their communities, by providing up to $5,000 for their education in the fall. Additionally, Canada Student Grants for eligible students will be doubled up to $6,000 for full-time and up to $3,600 for part-time students.