While the pandemic has been difficult for everyone, it has been especially difficult for young Canadians.
According to a news release from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office, young Canadians have experienced the highest number of jobs lost, and the steepest decline in mental health among any age group.
As a result, the Government of Canada is prioritizing young Canadians by including specific measures in Budget 2021.
Over the next five years, the Government of Canada intends to invest $5.7 billion in measures intended to support students and young Canadians.
- Creating 215,000 new training and work opportunities for young Canadians, so they can gain valuable skills and experience in the workforce
- Waiving interest on student loans for an additional year, which would help about 1.5 million Canadians who are repaying student loans
- Providing more flexibility for the repayment of federal student loans, so no one has to make a payment they cannot afford
- Doubling the Canada Student Grants for two more years to help over 580,000 students cover the cost of their tuition, school supplies, and living expenses
- Expanding access to supports, grants, and repayment assistance for students with disabilities.
“Young people have been greatly impacted by the pandemic, and we’re stepping up to support them so they can reach their full potential as we continue to recover and rebuild. We are taking steps to create new opportunities for young Canadians, and help them start their careers and their lives. An investment in young people today is an investment in our future success as a country,” Trudeau said in the release.
“One of the most striking aspects of the pandemic has been the historic sacrifice young Canadians have made to protect their parents and grandparents. Our youth have paid a high price to keep the rest of us safe. They need our support to launch their adult lives and careers in post-COVID Canada – and they will get it. We will make college and university more accessible and affordable. We will create job openings in skilled trades and high-tech industries. We will double the Canada Student Grant for two more years, while extending the waiver of interest on federal student loans through March 2023,” Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Finance, said in the same release.