OTTAWA, July 22, 2020 -- The summer is nearing completion, and students are gearing up to return to their institutions for an unprecedented school year. The Canada Student Service Grant was initially launched on June 25th, 2020, with the goal of providing students grant-based financial assistance in return for summer volunteer work. The program has had a delayed implementation leaving thousands of students in the dark with little time remaining. It is now clear that the Canada Student Service Grant will be unable to fulfill its original purpose of providing financial aid to students over the summer. CASA is now calling on the Government of Canada to relocate these funds into stronger financial supports for post-secondary students returning to school.
“The goal for the Government of Canada should be to get support to students as quickly as possible in an efficient and effective manner,” said Bryn de Chastelain, Chair of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, “the CSSG is coming too late for students to fully take advantage of the program, so it is time for the government to re-evaluate where best to support students with $900M of existing money.”
The Canada Student Service Grant program was announced in late April, and was not launched until the end of June. It is now the end of July, and the final program is still not available for those students who desperately need financial assistance. Time is running out to connect students with this much needed financial aid. CASA believes it is also too late to reallocate funds to the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit or the Canada Summer Jobs program, as students have little time to take advantage of either program.
“Students have been expecting financial aid from the government, and are relying on it to continue their educational pursuits,” says Bryn de Chastelain “the government needs to be timely in providing clarity to students and ensure no student is left behind.”
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.
Akanksha Bhatnagar, Communications and Public Relations Officer
Canadian Alliance of Student Associations