OTTAWA, Nov 3, 2020 -- The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of all Canadians and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) has been watching closely as the lives of post-secondary students has changed considerably. To continue to keep post-secondary issues top of mind, CASA and the Quebec Student Union (QSU) have organized a month of digital advocacy, representing 365 000 students - one of the largest advocacy efforts hosted by students.
Jointly, CASA and the QSU will be focussing on five major priorities: expanding access to trade re-skilling, reducing mental health barriers for Indigenous post-secondary students, streamlining the ability for international students to work in Canada, improving access to affordable childcare, and increasing the Canadian Research Granting Agencies student scholarship funding.
“We are grateful for the generous student aid package announced in April 2020,” says Bryn de Chastelain, Chair of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, “With over 2 million post-secondary students across Canada, we are excited to share our plans for how students can play a role in Canada’s economic recovery.”
With over 700,000 jobs lost between March and September 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a serious and lasting toll on the Canadian economy. In a survey commissioned by CASA, 82% of students reported they are worried about their futures and career prospects beyond the pandemic.The concern about job security is one shared among many Canadians, which is why one of CASA’s solutions is to reduce financial barriers to apprenticeships by expanding the Canadian Apprenticeship Incentive Grant. Further, post-secondary-based research is an important component to developing a strong knowledge economy. Therefore, the QSU and CASA are calling on the Government of Canada to increase funding to the Canadian Research Granting Agencies so that the scholarships return to the proportion they represented in 2011.
“Investments in research fuels technological innovation, economic growth, and Canada’s international competitiveness as a destination for talent,” says Jade Marcil, President of the Quebec Students’ Union, “from the search for a vaccine, to reducing social inequalities, to rebuilding amidst challenges such as the climate crisis, we need research funding more than ever.”
For more information on the ways post-secondary students can support a resilient Canadian recovery, read CASA and the QSU’s advocacy document: Building Resilience: Supporting Students for Canada’s Economic Recovery.
Akanksha Bhatnagar, Communications and Public Relations Officer
Canadian Alliance of Student Associations
E-mail: [email protected]
Alexandre Ducharme, Press Officer
Quebec Students' Union
Email: [email protected] 514-497-2602
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.
The Quebec Student Union’s mission is to defend the rights and interests of the student community, of its member associations, and of their members, by promoting, protecting, and improving the conditions of students and those of local and international communities