Canadian sacrifices paying off, Emergency student supports coming soon: PM Justin Trudeau

Written by: Angelo Cruz

During today’s national address, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed that the $9billion support for the students residing in Canada was coming.

Trudeau commented on the fact that many students would be struggling to find summer work due to the COVID-19 pandemic closing many establishments and stores that would hire them on a part-time basis and that it’s important to get those supports in place before the summer.

The $9-billion Canada Emergency Student Benefit is currently being negotiated amongst the opposition parties, but Trudeau says that the bill that would see students getting financial support over the summer would be enacted “as quickly as possible.”

“Since we introduced this plan, we’ve been working with the opposition parties on legislation that will get this help to young people as quickly as possible,” said Trudeau when addressing the plan to the press.

“I’ll be heading to Parliament shortly, where we will introduce a bill to introduce the Canada Emergency Student Benefit in place”.

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COVID-19 curve is flattening in Canada

Meanwhile, in light of the recent federal and provincial governments releasing a framework for the reopening of the economies and the latest national modelling presented by Minister Patty Haidju and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam indicating that the COVID-19 curve in Canada is flattening, the Prime Minister stated that the latest results indicate good news for Canadians and that their sacrifices are paying off.

Prime Minister Trudeau however also reminded that the effort needs to be kept up to see better results in the future.

“In many parts of the country, the curve has flattened, so we have to keep it up”.

Funding proposed

On April 22, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that students and recent graduates affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will be soon able to access a new Canada Emergency Student Benefit – CESB [AN1] program.

The benefit will see post-secondary students receive $1,250 a month from May to August. For those who are taking care of someone else or have a disability, the amount increases to $1,750. 

College and university students currently in school, planning to start in September 2020, or who have graduated in December 2019 who have lost work or cannot find work due to the pandemic are eligible for the program. 

Students who are working, earning less than $1,000 per month, can also apply to the program. 

Lack of timelines for reopening of economies

During the question period, a question regarding the lack of timelines regarding the reopening of the economy was brought up.

In response, Trudeau said that there is a common desire to ensure that the proper measures are taken for when the economy reopens.

Trudeau says that the danger of opening up too quickly will result in undoing all the progress made. 

In the presentation made yesterday regarding the COVID-19 cases, the numbers showed that the case numbers are regionalized and differ from one another. According to the data, Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta have increasing case numbers. Ontario and Quebec are also the provinces that see increases in COVID-19 related deaths within long-term healthcare facilities, alongside Nova Scotia. 

Wage increases for essential workers

When asked about the eligibility of essential workers for the recent proposed wage increase, Trudeau said that managing that situation would be difficult as provinces and territories are responsible for delivering said increases and that they would have different views on the matter.

“It’s not like the commercial rent benefit relief. This program recognizes that there are differences between the provinces in terms of essential workers. We hope to have good news very soon.” Prime Minister said.

CFL support

Prime Minister Trudeau stated that the federal government and the CFL are in the midst of discussions for financial support the league is seeking, as the season’s status is in question as the pandemic continues.

Trudeau said that support for the league is of utmost importance for the league and its fans.

“We are currently looking at how we can support various organizations. We recognize that this is an important issue for the league and many Canadians and we are continuing our discussions with them,” Trudeau said.

The status of meatpacking factories

When asked about the meatpacking factories and whether or not they would stay open like in the U.S., Prime Minister Trudeau stated the importance of keeping up the food supply for Canadians and to ensure those working in these factories would remain safe while working. 

“The priority for us is both things – keeping people safe and ensuring a good supply of food to Canadians,” said Trudeau when talking about the food supply workers and keeping up the demands for food.

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

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