OTTAWA – Green Party Leader Annamie Paul today called today on the Federal Government to reinstate the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) beginning May 1. Last year’s CESB began on May 10 and ended on September 30. The pandemic is still raging, and so Greens ask: what is the plan for students this summer?
With classes ending and Canada in the midst of a deadly third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, students are facing a dismal job market and high unemployment as they move into the summer.
Unless the CESB is renewed, students will continue to struggle to recover from the setbacks of the COVID-19 pandemic for years to come. For many students, summer is when they earn money to support their studies. Without those summer jobs, and without the CESB, debt will grow, and racial and social inequities amongst students will only deepen. Students without other support systems will fall through the cracks.
The Green Party is calling on the Government to ensure all those eligible for the CESB receive $2,000 per month – the same amount as the Canada Recovery Benefit – and not last year’s figure of $1,250. The benefit should also cover both international and recently graduated students.
“In 2020, the government justified offering students a discounted emergency benefit based on the promise of summer jobs,” said Ms. Paul. “Those jobs never materialized; the summer student unemployment rate was 40 per cent and many students were driven into further debt. We cannot make that mistake again.
“Reinstating the Canada Emergency Student Benefit must be a critical part of Budget 2021. Supporting our students is one the best investments we can make in our future.”
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