Students welcome federal government moratorium on student loan payments and other measures

Ottawa, March 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Students welcome government measures announced by the federal government today, including a moratorium on student loan payments, support for underemployed and unemployed individuals who are not eligible for EI, a new Indigenous Community Support Fund, and a temporary boost to Canada Child Care benefits.“Students have been very anxious the past few weeks as announcements surrounding COVID-19 paint a bleaker and bleaker picture every day,” explained Sofia Descalzi, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “They are a vulnerable population when it comes to housing, employment and access to healthcare.”The Canadian Federation of Students has been monitoring the situation closely and is calling on universities and governments to continue implementing policies that will protect students’ health but also take into account those who will be put at risk by these policies. The Federation’s demands include: Immediately include international students under provincial health plansRelax study permits so that international students are not penalized if their classes are being moved onlineProvide 21 paid emergency leave days now (7 permanent emergency leave days and 14 additional ones during a pandemic)Establish a special multi-lingual helpline Keeping university and college residences open for international students and those who cannot return home, and establishing emergency housing where it is neededAccess to a computer, internet, library books and resources for those who have to complete their studies online“Students, and especially international students, are going to suffer as they are scrambling to finish their semester and find a summer job or full-time position amid a pandemic,” added Descalzi. “Post-secondary institutions and the government have a duty to ensure that during this time of crisis, no one is left behind.” The Federation has created a toolkit for students’ unions across the country, providing them with resources for assisting their members on campus. It is available here: http://bit.ly/3b2QIMv The Canadian Federation of Students is the oldest and largest national student organization in Canada, representing over 500,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students across the country.Geneviève Charest
Canadian Federation of Students
6132402631
g.charest@cfs-fcee.ca

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