Help the Government See that Students Need an Income Too

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On April 3rd, 2020, the federal government of Canada changed the criteria for eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Prior to this date, it was clear that any person was eligible, provided they had earned at least $5000 in employment income on their 2019 tax return or the past 12 months leading up to the application date. This is no longer the case. Now, the criteria is that the applicant must have been working directly before the commencement of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we can respect that the government is doing this to limit the amount of people abusing the system, this directly affects post secondary students who rely on summer jobs as their primary source of income to assist with expenses over the summer and through the school year. On the Government of Canada website, it clearly states that the CERB is "only available to individuals who stopped work as as result of reasons related to COVID-19. If you are looking for a job but haven't stopped working because of COVID-19, you are not eligible for the benefit. 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."

Please help the government realize that students also need support during this terribly difficult time. The school year is just ending and tons of students would normally beginning summer jobs right around now. So far, every variation of demographic in Canada, other than students, have been offered direct financial support from the government as a result of the pandemic. This needs to change. Students matter too.