Trudeau unveils financial aid measures for students, totalling $9B

The federal government is providing more financial support for students and young Canadians struggling to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the creation of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, which will 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. Last week, the CERB was made available to Canadians who exhausted their employment insurance (EI) benefits or for those earning up to $1,000 per month.

Related: Those earning $1,000 or less per month can apply for the CERB

The Prime Minister also announced the creation of 76,000 additional jobs for young people. Those jobs will be in industries that “need help at the moment,” as they operate in the midst of a pandemic. Also, the federal government is doubling school grants for the 2020-21 school year. Trudeau says $291 million will go towards extending scholarships and funding, plus there’s a new grant for those helping fight against COVID-19 this summer.

Federal government addresses needs of students "falling through the cracks" of emergency aid benefit programs.
Federal government addresses needs of students “falling through the cracks” of emergency aid benefit programs.

The changes come as some students fall through the cracks of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. The measure follows the federal government move to put a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans. And, the government recently bolstered the Canada Summer Jobs program to encourage employers to hire young workers.

Trudeau talks Gun control

Trudeau says they will have conversations on gun control legislation with opposition parties “to see if they’re willing to move ahead with it.” but that would require amending Parliament’s current restriction on introducing bills not-related to Covid-19 measures.

The calls for tougher gun laws come after (at least) 23 people were killed in Nova Scotia after one man went on a killing spree, one of Canada’s worst such attacks in its history.

Canadian caseload update

Canada’s top doctor updated Canada’s caseload to 38,422 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. Dr. Theresa Tam says that includes 1,834 deaths. To date, around 576,000 people have been tested.