OTTAWA, Nov 30, 2020 -- The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) has been watching closely as the lives of post-secondary students have been impacted considerably by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are pleased to see additional investments supporting students and recent graduates in today’s federal Fall Economic Statement. CASA greatly appreciates the elimination of interest on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans until 2022, as it will help ease the financial burden of student debt on recent graduates during this economic recovery. In addition, as students and recent graduates face tremendous uncertainty, investments in work opportunities through an enhanced Canada Summer Jobs program and Youth Employment and Skills Strategy will help to alleviate concerns about future employment.
“This investment in students is a strong investment in Canada’s future,” says Bryn de Chastelain, Chair of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. “We know these supports go a long way for students, and are crucial to our success, but also to the strength of Canada’s economy.”
Additionally, CASA is glad to see the government acknowledge that this pandemic has disproportionately impacted youth, particularly those facing barriers to employment, such as Indigenous youth, racialized youth, and youth with disabilities. While we are thankful for the investments made, we continue to see gaps in investment for international students and mature learners. Specifically, international students have been completely left out of the government’s COVID-19 aid package, and many continue to face significant barriers to supporting themselves in Canada and accessing work opportunities.
“We want to ensure that all students are given an equal opportunity to take their hard-earned certifications and skills into a stable job force,” says de Chastelain, “the government has just invested over a billion dollars in job opportunities for youth, and we believe including international and mature students in these programs would be the best way to ensure their success.”
Established in 1995, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit, national student organization composed of 24 student associations representing 300,000 post-secondary students from coast to coast. With its partnership with the Quebec Student Union (QSU), CASA represents a total of 390,000 students across Canada and presents a national student voice to the federal government. CASA advocates for a Canadian post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, innovative, and of the highest quality.
Akanksha Bhatnagar, Communications and Public Relations Officer
Canadian Alliance of Student Associations