Trudeau confident help for students is “coming soon” as House of Commons debates aid package

Legislation to help young Canadians will be presented in Parliament today (Wed). Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government will introduce a bill to put the $9 billion Canada Emergency Student Benefit in place.

Trudeau was asked if the other opposition parties approved the plan? “I’m quite confident, even if the discussions continue with the parties, we must help students and I’m confident that will work.”

Trudeau first introduced the Canada Emergency Student Benefit last week. The proposed program would provide students $1,250 per month from May to August (retroactive to May 1st). That will go up to $1,750 if the student is taking care of someone or if they have a disability. Students will be eligible even if they make $1,000 per month at a part time job.

Trudeau says students, helping in the fight against COVID-19 this summer, will soon be eligible for the grant. “If you can’t find a job this summer, but want to contribute in the fight against COVID-19, we’re going to make sure that you have support, too,” said Trudeau.

Trudeau says students, helping in the fight against COVID-19 this summer, will soon be eligible for the grant.

The Prime Minister spoke about extending scholarships and fellowships to graduate students and those conducting research. He also talked about doubling students grants for 2020/2021 – something Trudeau previously announced.

Wednesday’s news conference was brief as MP’s get set for today’s House of Commons sitting. The Prime Minister was asked about a few other pressing issues, including Canada’s meat plants. This comes on the heels of what happened south of the border.

While Trudeau had previously said he doesn’t expect a domestic shortage, the price of meat could go up. He said that after a very large processing plant in Alberta shut itself down following a COVID-19 outbreak.

“We are not, at this point, anticipating shortages of beef, but prices might go up. We will, of course, be monitoring that very, very carefully,” said Trudeau.

Will Canada mandate meat plants stay open?

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday under the Defense Production Act to compel meat processing plants to remain open amid the pandemic.

The Prime Minister was asked today if Canada is also considering mandating meat plants to stay open? Trudeau said the government has to continue to make sure supply chains keep functioning, “but that workers are kept safe.”

“Agricultural Canada is very much on this issue. We need to stay vigilant because of the disruptions in many sectors of our economy,” said Trudeau.

“The preoccupation and the challenges we’re facing isn’t around the safety of the food we produce but the workers in those plants because of COVID-19, and that requires a little more work and little more coordination,” added Trudeau.