In response to the growing concerns surrounding COVID-19, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the government will spend $9 billion fund to help post-secondary student and recent graduates in Canada.
The fund, called the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, will provide support to students who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
A press release from the government said it will provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students who have dependents or disabilities.
This benefit will be available from May to August 2020, the release noted.
“Right now, you might be worried about how to make ends meet. You probably can’t work your normal job, and that might be a big problem for rent or groceries,” Trudeau said during his daily press briefing. “This benefit is designed for you - if you are a postsecondary student right now, if you are going to college in September, or if you graduated in December 2019. It’s there for you even if you have a job, but you’re only making up to $1,000 a month.”
He indicated that payments will be delivered through the Canada Revenue Agency and will be working with the opposition to move the legislation to put the benefit in place.
The government also announced it is creating 76,000 jobs for young people in addition to the Canada Summer Jobs program, Trudeau said.
The $9 billion fund will also include $291 million to extend scholarships, fellowships and grants to ensure student researchers and graduate students are able to continue their work, he said.
“Depending on your funding, it will be extended by either three or four months,” he said.
For those students who are volunteering in the “fight against COVID-19”, Trudeau said they will soon be eligible for $1,000 to $5,000, depending on their hours, through the new Canada Student Service Grant.
The fund also includes $75 million to increase support specifically for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Nation students.
“To all the students watching today, let me say this: As you’re building your future - thinking about how to contribute, or about starting a family or career - all of a sudden you’ve been faced with this crisis. The uncertainty may feel overwhelming,” Trudeau said.
“But in Canada, we look out for each other...these measures will help you get through this, so you can build that career and future you’ve been working for.”