CERB Must Include Students and Seasonal Workers Unable to find Work

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With the increasingly deteriorating situation of Covid-19 the government of Canada has officially announced the CERB, (Canadian Emergency Response Benefit) and with it the qualifications.

Students and seasonal workers do not qualify.

This creates an environment for students that leaves little to no options. The CERB has made it very clear that students will not receive aid “For example if you are a student who had a job last year and were planning on working this summer you do not qualify for the benefit.” Up until this point the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) has made it seem like students will qualify with the criteria for qualifications being:

       - Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;

      - Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits:

     - Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and

      - Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment income.

(information from https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

And students need this money. Most students rely on this summer income to survive through the year, pay loans, pay tuition, buy textbooks etc. University is already inaccessible for low income students, but this just makes it worse. A summer without income will be devastating for most students.

Here is why:

      - We do not qualify for the CERB or EI benefits

      - We cannot find work because everything is shut down

      - Essential workers have already been hired

      - Job markets are flooded with others who were laid off due to covid-19

      - Student programs were the first to be cancelled

      - Working part time in the year is not feasible for every type of student

Where will our income come from?

Apparently not the government because we have been continually left out of the narrative for support despite being a group that requires it.

Federal student loan payments have been delayed (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/covid-19-coronavirus-pandemic-student-loans-1.5502179 but this is not enough.

What will happen to students with many businesses closed and no opportunities for the for see able future? Companies cancelled student programs and jobs almost immediately, this only puts students in a brutal position of balancing jobs and school to pay for tuition, housing, books, and daily expenses.

How can the governing bodies of Canada expect students to maintain any semblance of mental health in this situation? Students are the future leaders and working class of this country it is therefore putting students at an even stronger disadvantage entering the workforce.

Does Canada even care about the future state of its leaders and workers?