COVID-19: Federal support for post-secondary students

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Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association
Wed, 04/22/2020 - 12:30

Today, on behalf of the Government of Canada, the Prime Minister announced substantial supports for students not currently eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. We at the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association commend the government for their acknowledgement of those students who were previously overlooked and for taking the action necessary to address their concerns. While there are minor variations, this announcement closely mirrors the report published by our federal advocacy alliance, the Undergraduates of Canadian Research-Intensive Universities (UCRU).

This includes both an income supplement to support students and new graduates in the summer months, as well as adjustments to the Canada Student Loans and Canada Student Grants programs. Waterloo students, including those in co-op, rely heavily on their ability to work to afford education. The policies in this announcement are good news for our members and will bridge financial needs and support students as they plan to return to post-secondary institutions this spring and fall.

The government has also announced substantial measures for Indigenous and graduate students, and we commend them for their comprehensive response.

"We clearly articulated student needs to the government and were heard," said Matthew Gerrits, Vice President Education for WUSA, and co-author of the UCRU report. "Some days you get what you ask for, and I’m relieved for students that today is one of those days."

This action joins other work to expand the Canada Summer Jobs Program and provide student debt relief to graduating students.  WUSA will continue work with UCRU to monitor the effects of these policies on students, but we are confident they will address most student needs. We would like to thank and commend the Prime Minister and Minister Qualtrough, as well as the Government of Canada and Parliament for their support of Canadian students.

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