COVID-19 Update – Federal Assistance for Students

April 22, 2020

Article by: Gabrielle Scorer

The federal government made two new announcements today regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.  The first was a $9 billion plan to assist post-secondary students; the second communicated the government’s desire for a common approach by federal and provincial jurisdictions to re-opening the Canadian economy.

Federal Assistance for Students

The Prime Minister and members of his cabinet outlined the federal government’s $9 billion plan to assist post-secondary students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The federal government is launching the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (“CESB”).  The CESB will provide a monthly benefit of $1250.00 to unemployed students who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”). Students can receive payments from May to August 2020. The benefit will also be available to employed students who make less than $1000.00 a month. Further, students with permanent disabilities or dependents will be eligible for an additional $500.00 per month.

The federal government also announced a host of additional measures aimed at helping students, including:

    • tweaking the Canada Summer Jobs program to create an additional 76,000 jobs for youth;
    • providing $1000.00 to $5000.00 to students who volunteer in certain sectors, depending on the hours worked;
    • raising the maximum amount for federal student grants to $6000.00 for full-time students and $3600.00 for part-time students; and
    • increasing the maximum weekly amount that can be provided through the Canada Student Loans Program from $210.00 to $350.00.

Re-Opening the Canadian Economy

The Prime Minister also announced that his government is coordinating with its provincial counterparts about the process for re-opening the Canadian economy. He highlighted this responsibility will ultimately fall on the provinces, and recognized that there may be differing approaches.

The Prime Minister also stated that the present border restrictions with the United States remain a national concern, and said the federal government will ensure the border remains closed until at least May 21, 2020.

For additional COVID-19 information, please visit Roper Greyell’s COVID-19 resource page.