In an address Wednesday, Prime Minister Trudeau announced a new fund for students who are ineligible for the Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Through the proposed Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), qualifying students and new graduates could receive $1,250 per month from the government between May and August 2020. On Thursday, the office of the federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Disability Inclusion confirmed to MTL Blog that cégep students, too, could be eligible for the CESB.

On the website outlining the proposed program, the government writes that it "recognizes that students and recent graduates are being significantly affected by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic."

"As many post-secondary students adapt to the new reality brought on by COVID-19, they are concerned about the effect of the pandemic on their ability to continue their studies, secure and retain summer employment, pay their bills, and save for tuition in the fall."

The CESB would specifically cover "post-secondary students and recent graduates who are ineligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or for Employment Insurance, but who are unable to find full-time employment or are unable to work due to COVID-19."

"Students with dependents and those with permanent disabilities" would get $1,750, an additional $500, for four months.

The CESB is just one part of a $9 billion investment in students during the crisis.

The government will also provide between $1,000 and $5,000 to those who assist in COVID-19 efforts.

"While the COVID-19 pandemic will limit employment opportunities for students, it presents an opportunity for students and youth to mobilize and take part in national service activities that can provide valuable labour market and skills development experiences while giving back to their local communities," the statement reads.

It will additionally launch "expanded student and youth programming" in the summer of 2020, including "increased wage subsidies" to the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy's Canada Summer Jobs program.

International students, meanwhile, will see the 20-hour workweek cap waived.

"Many students were preparing to start a summer job in May, and are now worried about how to pay rent and cover basic living expenses, while recent graduates are struggling to find meaningful work," the Office of the Prime Minister wrote in the statement.

"This is a critical point in their lives, and we must do everything possible to support their future."

Stay tuned for more news.

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