OTTAWA, January 30, 2019 – Students across the country are kicking off the Canadian Alliance of Students Associations’ (CASA) #CloseTheGaps campaign today, underlining the massive gaps in Canadian post-secondary education that have been exacerbated by the onset of the global pandemic. From the urgent need for action on student mental health, to the lack of digital broadband access, to the bleak job market, students want to channel this energy into tangible action to help support each other and to build a stronger post-secondary sector.
“It’s difficult to single out one issue students are facing, because the reality is that the issues are varied and compounded by the pandemic,” says Bryn de Chastelain, CASA Board Chair and St. Mary’s University Students’ Union President. “A lot of students need help, and we’re standing up and demanding it, loudly.”
No one knows the breadth of today’s hardship quite like post-secondary students and recent graduates across Canada. #CloseTheGaps is a grassroots campaign by students, for students, highlighting the myriad challenges faced during this unprecedented year across the country. CASA believes the federal government can play an important role in helping students and has a suite of evidence-informed recommendations to close these gaps. From more mental wellness funding, to maintaining increases to the Canada Student Grants, increasing broadband access, streamlining the work permit process for international students, and continuing to push for a national standard to address gender-based violence at post-secondary institutions.
“CASA believes that any academically qualified student with the desire to pursue post-secondary education should be able to do so,” says Grace Grace Dupasquier, Director of Advocacy with CASA and Capilano Students’ Union Vice President External. “These recommendations are key to creating an equitable post-secondary system and allow for students to be better supported during and after the pandemic”
To participate in the #CloseTheGaps campaign, visit www.CloseTheGaps.ca.
Akanksha Bhatnagar, Communications and Public Relations Officer
The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a national voice for Canada’s post-secondary students. Established in 1995, CASA is a non-partisan, not-for-profit student organization composed of student associations from across Canada. We represent 23 student associations, and in a partnership with the Quebec Student Union (QSU) represent 365,000 students collectively to the federal government of Canada. CASA advocates for a post-secondary education system in Canada that is accessible, affordable, innovative and of the highest quality.