Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced C$9 billion ($6 billion) in financial aid for students whose education and job prospects have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The aid named Canada Emergency Student Benefit is intended to help young people who have fallen through the cracks of other emergency relief programs against the COVID-19 crisis, reports Xinhua news agency.
At his news conference on Wednesday, Trudeau said that a monthly payment of C$1,250 was going for post-secondary students from May through August to make up for lost work and cut hours.
It will increase to C$1,750 for students with disabilities or who care for others.
He also said students will be eligible to receive monthly payments of between C$1,000-5,000 for volunteering in their communities to reward them for their efforts.
Trudeau also announced that his government is doubling student grants for eligible students up to C$6,000 for full-time students and up to C$3,600 for part-time students.
“COVID-19 has meant that there aren’t as many jobs out there for students, and without a job, it can be hard to pay for tuition or the day-to-day basics.
“You might normally have turned to your parents for help, but right now mom and dad are stretched, too,” Trudeau said.
The benefit will require additional legislation and talks are underway about how quickly a bill to implement this new program can be brought forward.
As of Thursday morning, there were 41,650 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada and 2,080 deaths.