North Island-Powell River MP, Rachel Blaney. (Marissa Tiel/ Campbell River Mirror)

MP Blaney asks feds to pivot funds from student service grant to employment program

Blaney recommends reallocating all of the $900 million from the cancelled Canadian Student Service Grant

North Island-Powell River MP, Rachel Blaney has asked federal ministers to pivot unused funds from Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) to create local jobs for students.

In a letter addressed to the finance minister, Chrystia Freeland, diversity and inclusion and youth minister, Bardish Chagger and the minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, Blaney pointed out that much can be done to benefit students if the funds were to be diverted to the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ).

CSSG failed to launch as much of the attention around the WE scandal focused on the awarding of the contract and the involvement of the Prime Minister and former Finance Minister in the process.

In her letter Blaney recommends reallocating all of the $900 million that was supposed to benefit students and community organizations to the CSJ program.

The CSJ program was extended this year in response to COVID-19 to cover a greater share of student wages and to allow job placements to continue through February 2021.

“The initial [CSJ] grant allocation in my riding left nearly $750,000 of unmet demand from employers… representing good jobs for students that have not been created,” wrote Blaney in the letter.

“Using the CSSG funds to award additional Canada Summer Job grants could provide additional opportunities for the many students who aren’t returning to full-time studies in the fall for financial or health reasons” said Blaney, “and it would support more local employers as they try to survive and recover from the impacts of the pandemic.”

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