Canada Recovery Benefit ends for students after one year of financial assistance
As of October 24, the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRP) was phased out, despite the fact that more than 800,000 Canadians still depend on its financial assistance following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CRB was created by the Government of Canada last fall to provide bi-weekly payments to support those whose jobs have been directly affected by the pandemic. Claimants must not be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) and must have actively looked for work while receiving their benefits.
During its tenure, the CRB provided more than $ 27 billion to more than two million Canadians across the country.
An official from the Ministry of Finance recounts Excalibur that the economy has, according to them, recovered “100 percent of the jobs lost due to the COVID-19 recession” – with this, they argue that the government will adapt measures taken to financially support Canadians.
âTo support workers – including working students – affected by new lockdown situations in the future, the government is proposing to launch the new Canadian worker lockdown allowance. This new benefit would provide income support to workers unable to work due to specific government-imposed public health foreclosure scenarios. “
Canada’s confinement allowance regime for workers was made public shortly after the announcement of the end of CRC. However, this benefit will not be available to Canadians until May 2022.
Emilly Renaud, national coordinator of Canada Without Poverty, a federal poverty promotion agency, notes that while COVID-19 has most certainly exacerbated the federal poverty and employment crisis, its roots were established long before closures.
âEven before the pandemic, there was a full-time job crisis where many people, especially recent immigrants and racialized people, had a variety of part-time jobs just to get by. Things can be reopened and capacity can increase, but many companies still have reduced hours which means there is less work to be done. So just because there are more waitresses, gigs, and customer service jobs, that doesn’t mean all of these jobs offer the same volume of shifts as before the pandemic. “
When considering the future of financial stressors for students, the Department of Finance writes: âIn order to support students during the latter stages of the pandemic, the government has extended the doubling of Canada scholarships initials until July 2023 to provide low-income students with up to $ 6,000 per year, reducing barriers to education for these students.
They also say that thanks to the government’s suspension of federal student repayment loans until 2023, 1.5 million students will have ample time to enter the workforce.
Renaud notes, however, that those who have been hardest hit financially because of the pandemic were those already struggling in poverty, or on the poverty line.
âNot only did they suffer job losses and were often excluded from pandemic relief benefits, they also faced barriers to getting vaccinated and had higher infection rates. The government has failed to serve our most marginalized and vulnerable people. “
Renaud says the CRB was a “good perk” in helping with individual income while working hours were reduced – but reducing that perk can now have detrimental effects for those who have not yet fully covered.
“The CRB is being phased out before our economy has fully recovered and returned, and that will only hurt the low-income workers we celebrated last year as essential.”