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Senate passes legislation for $9B COVID-19 student aid package

In a rapid parliamentary process that began two days ago, legislation authorizing $9 billion in promised financial assistance for Canadian students was passed by the Senate on Friday and given royal assent shortly afterward.

<who>Photo Credit: Senate of Canada</who>The Senate was recalled to Ottawa on Friday to consider Bill-C-15.

Now that Bill C-15 — An Act respecting Canada emergency student benefits — is law, the federal government is authorized to begin distributing the funds to students and new graduates unable to find work or other forms of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CTV reported that Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough has said that the federal government wants to open applications for the Canada Student Response Benefit, or CESB, in mid-May.

On April 22, Prime Minister Trudeau promised financial aid to unemployed students and recent graduates ineligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

On Wednesday, Qualtrough introduced the legislation to The House of Commons, proposing $1,250 per month from May through August and a boost to students with disabilities or dependents. Bill C-15 was passed by The House that evening with an amendment increasing the amount for applicants who have a disability or a dependent by $250, to a total of $2,000.

Although details about the CESB application haven’t been released, legislation passed by The House stipulates that applications won’t be accepted after Sept. 30.

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