OTTAWA, Sept 23, 2020 -- Over 2-million students are currently enrolled in post-secondary education across Canada, and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) knows that each one will play a significant role in Canada’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery. Therefore, we are disappointed to see that neither students, nor making post-secondary education more affordable, innovative, or accessible, were explicitly mentioned in today’s Speech from the Throne. We appreciate the government’s acknowledgement that job losses, the transition to remote learning, and increased debt loads have disproportionately impacted young people from coast to coast to coast. At CASA, we know that students are still worried about the long-term financial and social impacts of the pandemic.
“Rebuilding Canada’s economy following the COVID-19 pandemic requires an educated and financially stable workforce” says Bryn de Chastelain, Chair of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, “and at CASA, we are focused on ensuring that post-secondary students do not incur more financial hardship because of the pandemic, and we are hopeful the government still is as well.”
Supports such as Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) and the interest-free student loan moratorium have been highly beneficial to students and recent grads throughout the summer. As the pandemic persists into the Fall, continued support is required to ensure students can safely return to classes and secure good jobs in their communities. Additionally, investments in broadband internet access, mental health supports, jobs, and rebuilding Canada are not possible without a strong post-secondary education sector.
“Students want to support Canada’s post COVID-19 economic recovery,” says Bryn de Chastelain “however, without adequate support from the government, students will be overburdened and continue to struggle to just make ends meet.”
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