In his daily address to Canadians on Thursday morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the long-promised Canada Student Services Grant (CSSG) program has officially launched and offered new details on the government’s plans to help students find jobs this summer amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The newly launched Canada Student Services Grant will offer young Canadians a one-time payment of between $1,000 and $5,000 for volunteering in pandemic-related programs.
The amount paid will depend on the number of hours devoted to volunteer work, with the government saying that the grant would contribute to paying the student’s fall tuition.
The CSSG program is part of a $9-billion investment by the federal government to help lessen the economic impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on younger Canadians.
“Students are facing unique challenges this summer due to the pandemic. At the same time, many are wondering how they can help in the fight against COVID-19,” said the Prime Minister during his address on Thursday morning from Rideau Cottage.
“Volunteering can be a fantastic way to build skills, make contacts or just give back,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “If you’re volunteering instead of working, we’re going to make sure that you have support too”.
Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough says the program will not only support students who spend the summer volunteering, but it will also help reduce the number of young Canadians who are “sitting around” because they are unable to find seasonal jobs.
Currently, the government is directing those who are interested in volunteering this summer to a new “I want to help” information portal at the Government’s Job Bank Website.
Through the portal, volunteers can find more information about who is eligible for the CSSG grants, the number of hours needed to qualify for various levels of grant money, how to apply, and how applications will be assessed.
There will also be a list of not-for-profit organizations for which volunteer work will be compensated available on the online portal.
New Details on Job Funding
During his address, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau detailed aspects of the promised student spending and job funding including where new job opportunities for students will be created.
The Prime Minister told young Canadians that Canada will be creating 10,000 new jobs through the Canada Summer Jobs program, which will come at a cost of $60 million.
It had been previously announced that the Canada Summer Jobs program has already been temporarily enhanced to allow employers who hire Canadians between the ages of 15 and 30 to apply for a 100 percent subsidy of the provincial or territorial hourly minimum wage.
As part of the $9 billion package of COVID-19 aid measures aimed to support students, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government will:
- Double the Canada Student Grants for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-2021
- Offer $291.6 million to extend scholarships, fellowships, and grants for three or four months, to keep research projects and placements going (including postdoctoral fellowships)
- Broaden eligibility for financial assistance and raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-2021 from $210 to $350
Additionally, the Prime Minister offered more details for pre-announced measures including spending:
- $40 million to create 5,000 internships for post-secondary students with the innovation-focused NGO Mitacs to offer placements in sectors such as medicine and law
- $266 million to create 20,000 job placements for post-secondary students in high-demand sectors through the Student Work Placement Program;
- $40 million on a wage subsidy that connects youth with small businesses and charities through the Digital Skills for Youth and the Computer for Schools Plus programs; and
- $187 million to support job placements through the Youth Employment
In the closing moments of his daily address, the Prime Minister shared a few words of encouragement to students, reassuring them that the government will do what they can to support the next generation.
“If we want to build a strong and resilient economy, we have to invest in the next generation. We have to make sure our young people have the right tools to work, innovate, and succeed in the economy of the future,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Canada COVID-19 Statistics
Confirmed Cases: 102,415 (+189)
Recovered Cases: 65,283 (+192)
Deaths: 8,494 (+10)
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