As of Saturday, October 23, the Federal Government ended the Canadian Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS). The CRB functioned as a replacement to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which provided eligible Canadians $2,000 monthly at the onset of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit is replacing the CRB only for those whose work is directly impacted by government-imposed lockdowns, including those who are not eligible for Employment Insurance. The Benefit will provide $300 a week and will be available until May 2022.

Post-secondary students and graduates across Canada continue to face the brunt of the pandemic as a result of being forgotten from emergency relief programs. The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), which ran from May – September 2020 omitted both International students and recent graduates, but provided students with $1,250/month or $2,000/month for students with dependents and/or disabilities.

The Canadian Federation of Students calls on the Federal Government to reinstate the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). We also call on the Federal Government to expand the eligibility for the CESB to include international students and recent graduates.

Students have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic with record job loss while seeing an increase of students entering precarious work, as well as the rising cost of living and tuition. As a large portion of students live in poverty, students face difficulty accessing virtual education with high internet costs and limited to no broadband access, especially in rural and northern remote communities. This pandemic has worsened the conditions for international students specifically, tackling changes to travel requirements and facing issues with different time zones and internet connections. The pandemic also made challenges for students with disabilities and students that were caregivers worse, with many having to sacrifice opportunities and inaccessible education just to get by this pandemic.

Students deserve to see support implemented to combat the disproportionate effects of the pandemic and the Federation urges the Federal Government to implement these changes with swift and decisive action.