OTTAWA, 8 April 2020 – After today’s announcement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program to help students, the Canadian Federation of Students and the Don’t Forget Students coalition are calling on the government to extend the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to all students and recent graduates, regardless of employment and income status.
Trudeau’s announcement laid out changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program that include providing a 100% wage subsidy to employers, extending placements to the winter, and providing subsidies to part-time students.
“While students welcome these measures, these piecemeal reforms mean that many students will be left behind. CERB must be expanded to include all students and recent graduates to ensure that everyone is able to pay rent and put food on the table during these very uncertain times,” said Sofia Descalzi, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students.
Students are concerned with the limited reach of the Canada Summer jobs program, which has limited job availability, both in terms of numbers and types of jobs available. The program is also only available to domestic students and students under 30, leaving out international and mature students.
“The Government estimates that today’s measures will help approximately 70,000 students. Meanwhile, according to Statistics Canada data, there are more than 2 million post-secondary students across the country. Today’s announcement leaves too many students without help, and the only way to ensure comprehensive support is to make them eligible for the CERB,” said Nicholas Ferreira, spokesperson for Don’t Forget Students.
The CFS and Don’t Forget Students continue to urge the government to guarantee income security for all students, including international students and recent graduates, by expanding eligibility requirements for the CERB.