Canadian Prime Minister, Trudeau Announces $9B COVID-19 Funding for Students

The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau yesterday announced $9B COVID-19 Funding for Students (local and international). Eligible students to receive between $1,250 to $1,750 monthly. Trudeau’s government is determined to sustain education in Canada while providing ample post-graduation employment opportunities for both Canadian and foreign students.

Students and recent graduates who have seen their education and job prospects hampered by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will soon be able to claim a new Canada Emergency Student Benefit, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced, as part of a $9 billion package of new measures aimed at helping young people.

The benefit will see eligible postsecondary (Universities, Colleges and Special School) students receive $1,250 a month from May to August, and if you are taking care of someone else or have a disability, that amount increases to $1,750 monthly. College and university students currently in school, planning to start in September, or who graduated in December 2019 are eligible. As well, working students earning less than $1,000 per month can apply.

“COVID-19 has meant that there aren’t as many jobs out there for students, and without a job, it can be hard to pay for tuition or the day-to-day basics. You might normally have turned to your parents for help, but right now mom and dad are stretched, too,”

– Trudeau said.

Trudeau said the benefit will require additional legislation and talks are now underway about how quickly a bill to implement this new program can be brought forward. In Wednesday’s update on COVID-19 measures from Rideau Cottage, Trudeau said new student jobs and grants are also on their way.

Specifically, the federal government is also:

  • Creating an additional 76,000 jobs for young people in sectors that need an extra hand right now, or that are on the frontlines of this pandemic which could include contact tracing or helping out on farms;
  • Investing $291.6 million to extend scholarships, fellowships, and grants for three or four months to keep research projects and placements going, including for postdoctoral fellowships;
  • Broadening eligibility for financial assistance and raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350;
  • Launching a new Canada Student Service Grant of between $1,000 and $5,000 for students volunteering in the COVID-19 fight to go towards their fall tuition;
  • Providing $75.2 million to specifically increase support for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Nation students; and

Doubling 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 are also being doubled.

“To all the students watching today, let me say this: As you’re building your future, thinking about how to contribute, about starting a family or career, all of a sudden you’re faced with a massive crisis… These measures will help you get through this, so that you can build that career and the future that you’ve been looking forward to, that we’ve been looking forward to for you,” Trudeau said.

“On the other side of this, when the economy comes roaring back you will define our path forward.”

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough said that the government wanted to put new incentives in place for students who spend the summer volunteering because the need is there, but it will also reduce the number of young people who are “sitting around” this summer.

Recommended: Top Scholarships in Canada for Local and International Students.

“It makes no sense that a parent that has to take care of their children can apply for the CERB and get $2,000, but a parent that is also a student will only get between $1,250 and $1,750. Feeding your kids costs the same,” he said.

These new measures come after some students had voiced concerns that they were not eligible for the $2,000 per month Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which requires applicants to have earned at least $5,000 in the past year, which isn’t the case for all completing post-secondary studies.

Qualtrough said that the government chose the amount—which is less than those who are eligible for the CERB are receiving— with the fact in mind that other financial supports are available for students.

You may also check other latest opportunities for students and workers in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic via our Coronavirus latest news section.