Canada Emergency Student Benefit

APRIL 23, 2020

After weeks of organizing for the expansion of the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit – a program that was largely unavailable for post-secondary students – the Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR) welcomes today’s announcement about expanded financial support for students. Today, the Federal Government announced the introduction of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, committed to creating new student jobs, and doubled student grants. This is an overall investment of$9 billion for students. 

CESAR is cautiously optimistic that these benefits will reach our members which includes 16,000 continuing and part-time degree students at Ryerson University. Often, our members are left out of student resources due to limited course loads, continuing education designation and a lack of understanding for the various reasons that students take part-time and continuing education studies. We will continue to fight for financial assistance for our members and lobby our Members of Parliament and Members of Provincial Parliament to ensure our members have access to financial relief, job and housing protections and well-funded and properly protected social and emergency services. 

The Federal Government has proposed:

  • $1250 a month between May and August through the Canada Emergency Student Benefit for eligible postsecondary students (eligibility criteria is still unclear)
    • Available for Canadian citizens and permanent residents
    • Available for students who are currently enrolled, who were planning on enrolling in Fall 2020, and who have graduated since December 2019
    • An additional $500 a month top up for students with disabilities and students with dependents
    • Not available for students who are receiving the Canadian Emergency ResponseBenefit
  • Creating an additional 76,000 jobs for young people in sectors that need an extra hand right now, or that are on the frontlines of this pandemic;
  • Investing more than $291 million to extend scholarships, fellowships, and grants for three or four months;
  • Launching a new Canada Student Service Grant of between $1,000 and $5,000 for students volunteering in the COVID-19 fight;
  • Providing more than $75 million to specifically increase support for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Nation students; and 
  • Doubling the CSLP student grants that the government gives out for the 2020-21 school year.

CESAR will continue to update our social media, website and listservs as we receive more details on the announcement. We remind members to follow updates through our national students’ union and our provincial students’ union.

Government Announcement is available here.