GSA Statement on the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Student Support

“The Graduate Students’ Association of the University of Calgary is pleased with the Federal government’s announcement to provide a comprehensive aid package to support post-secondary students impacted by COVID-19. The relief package includes several different measures that will provide valuable support to all Canadian post-secondary students who currently do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), including at-risk students and recent graduates. We, along with many other stakeholder groups, have been hard at work advocating for increased supports for students to ensure no one falls through the cracks.

From a graduate student’s perspective, we are particularly pleased to see the commitment to extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, as well as supplementing existing federal research grants. These measures will help to offset any hardships caused by research delays due to COVID-19. Other measures in the aid package make sure that students can access and afford their education moving forward.

We are waiting for details on the implementation of the aid package and will continue to closely advocate to ensure a smooth implementation for students. We want to outline that yesterday’s announcement is great news for students dealing with financial hardship caused by COVID-19. However, we are concerned that international students are excluded from the aid package as around 30% of UCalgary graduate students are international students. Our advocacy work continues.”

Mohammad Mansouri
GSA President

For details of the Federal Government’s announcement on COVID-19 student support on April 22, 2020, please visit: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/04/22/support-students-and-new-grads-affected-covid-19

For more information about the GSA Advocacy work, please visit: gsa.ucalgary.ca/advocacy

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