The LB Podcast Blog
It's often said that young people don't appreciate the value of hard work, or they don't know what it's like to 'live in the real world'. Yet time and again, Canadians under 35 are repeatedly bombarded with real-world problems. They are subject to very harsh realities of everyday life, such as high rent, low pay, and mountains of debt. Even while they're going to school, young people in this country are finding it nearly impossible to keep a roof over their heads due to rising costs of living. And throughout this pandemic, the federal government has not made it any easier for them.
The Forgotten Generation
Back in the summer of 2020, the Canadian Federation of Students launched a petition asking the federal government to roll the Canada Student Services Grant into the CESB. It called for the student grant funding to be increased to match the CERB, or $2000/month. While the pressure on the government ultimately resulted in several changes being agreed to in Parliament, the subsequent political scandal involving WE Charity resulted in delays, lost or denied applications, and nearly $3B in funding left unspent.
Show Me The Money
The Liberal minister in charge of providing funding to students, Carla Qualtrough, has been under fire since last summer for funding shortfalls. According to the government's own figures, over $5 billion was allocated to the CSSG and other similar programs, however nearly half of the money hasn't been spent. And keep in mind, this is not the extension of funding that groups like the Canadian Federation of Students are calling for. This is the current allocation of funds, which amounts to $1250/month, per student. So what's the hold up? No one seems to be providing any answers.
On top of this, because of all of the confusing regulations and piecemeal legislation, some students are even getting notices from the government to pay back CERB (along with self-employed Canadians). It's little wonder then, that an overwhelming majority of students in this country are feeling the pinch, and in many cases are living on the margins of economic devastation. Meanwhile, Canada's richest corporations are also applying for, and receiving, federal subsidies during this pandemic. In fact, they're getting the lion's share of the money. This is not an accident. Government policy made this situation a reality. And it's up to us to hold them accountable for the choices they've made. I sincerely hope that the government sees the light of day and gets the money to people who need it most, not least.
THE LB PODCAST BLOG
A blog for the revolutionaries.