COVID-19 had far-ranging implications that required the adoption of many new measures at the federal level. From border closures to emergency aid for students and employers, these decisions often had serious implications for colleges and institutes. Throughout the pandemic, we made sure their concerns were well represented and taken into account at the highest level. In fact, we worked with a total of 22 federal departments and agencies over the years on a range of issues.
- One of the biggest impacts of the pandemic was the closing of our national borders and the implementation of strict restrictions for travelers coming into Canada, including international students. In light of the challenges, we worked tirelessly with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada to ensure that the needs of international students were being heard. We were instrumental in making sure international students forced to study online would remain eligible for post-graduate work permits, and making Canada the first country to reopen its doors to international students in October.
- We also advocated on behalf of domestic students to ensure they had access to Canada Emergency Response Benefits (CERB) or the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit. Throughout the year we also defended the need for increased student financial assistance and deferred loan repayments as well as greater flexibility for federal work-integrated learning programs.