FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO, April 20, 2022 - In a time of consistent financial precarity, nine student advocacy organizations across Canada have come together to release Shared Perspectives: A Joint Publication on the Changing Landscape of Student Financial Aid. This year's publication looks at how both provincial and federal governments can strengthen financial aid programs and frameworks to equitably distribute funding that targets students’ needs, especially following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many communities across the country, students faced a significant financial hit from the pandemic, jeopardizing the affordability of post-secondary for both current and prospective students.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA, April 7, 2022 - The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) and the Quebec Student Union (QSU) feel that Budget 2022 was a missed opportunity for the Government to invest in Canada’s future: post-secondary students.
On Wednesday, March 2, 2022, CASA appeared before Senate of Canada Standing Committee on Social Affairs to discuss the unique impacts of COVID-19 on post-secondary students across Canada, and the need for a yearly Pandemic Observance Day in support of the Bill S-209. CASA believes that the challenges faced by a generation of Canada's youth over the past twenty-four months have been immense and they will leave a lasting legacy that requires consistent attention and reflection. In our testimony, CASA supports and believes that if Bill S-209 passed, it would provide Canadians with an annual day of commemoration that can be used to remember those we lost while also reflecting on the broader impact of the pandemic on Canadian society. Future Pandemic Observance Days can be used to raise awareness on mental health, the importance of social interaction that can be used to celebrate togetherness over isolation and that can be used to highlight the lingering effects of the pandemic to ensure we are investing in areas like health care and mental health supports.
On Thursday, February 3, 2022, CASA presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration to highlight the difficulties faced by Francophone international students in coming to study in Canada. CASA believes that international students are a critical part of the post-secondary community in Canada. They enrich the educational experiences on post-secondary campuses and facilitate an international forum for the sharing of ideas, expertise, research, and scholarship. As heard by the CIMM Committee in late-2020, study permit applications of French-speaking international students from Africa are disproportionately denied when compared to non-African countries. In our testimony, CASA called on the federal government to re-evaluate IRCC resources to rebalance the immigration system to serve international students looking to study in either of Canada’s official languages.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues, and post-secondary students in Canada remain disproportionately susceptible to its broad socioeconomic and mental health impacts. The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) and Quebec Student Union (QSU) know that students across the country have had their financial and social lives upended, with health restrictions and persistent virtual learning now paired with rising inflation and surging prices for food and housing.
But as difficult as the past two years have been for students from coast to coast to coast, post-secondary students agree that now is the time to look forward and build for the future. With over 2 million post-secondary students across the country, we will play a critical role in Canada’s economic recovery. Recognizing this, we are excited to share our ideas on how we can work together to build a stronger post-secondary system and a brighter tomorrow.