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e-2680 (Government services and administration)

Initiated by Christopher Worden from Guelph, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • Graduate students face unique challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, including loss of research assistantships and fellowships, delays in program completion, and dwindling job market prospects;
  • Graduate students are expected to pay year-round tuition (without a summer hiatus);
  • Most graduate students are older than undergraduate students and live independently, with the same cost of living as other workers in Canada;
  • Most graduate students are ineligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit;
  • The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) is limited to students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents and make less than $1000 per month, despite this amount being insufficient to meet costs of living without the added burden of tuition payments;
  • The CESB fails to provide support to most graduate students, many of whom are ineligible either due to having an income above $1000 per month, or being international students without permanent resident status;
  • Taking a leave of absence to avoid paying summer tuition would create untenable disruptions in income, learning, and research for many graduate students; and
  • The Canada Student Service Benefit, which is the sole benefit extended to international students, would require them to work in high-risk front-line jobs while attempting to complete their studies.
We, the undersigned, graduate students of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to broaden eligibility for the CESB to include international students and low-income students making over $1000 per month, and to collaborate with provincial governments to implement residential rent relief.
Open for signature
June 17, 2020, at 2:15 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
August 16, 2020, at 2:15 p.m. (EDT)
Photo - Lindsay Mathyssen
New Democratic Party Caucus
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