DC advocates on issues affecting students during the crisis
DC has been actively engaged with the federal government during Covid-19 to share the voices of students. We know delaying student entry to practice has workforce and financial implications. Students may require immediate financial support or be concerned about paying student loans.
DC is a member of Organizations for Health Action (HEAL) and the Extended Healthcare Professionals Coalition (EHPC). Both groups have advocated to the Canadian Banking Association (here
) on behalf of students for emergency financial support and relief measures for student loans. We are asking that Canadian banks consider specific relief measures for students in health care professional programs to help bridge them to better times.
Here are the major issues students have told us they are facing:
- Healthcare students are no longer able to find placements to complete their programs, have their classes cancelled and are sometimes seeing their confirmatory and entry-into-practice exams postponed, which all create the conditions for a delay of much needed new professionals entering the sector, as well as an additional financial burden;
- Students who might have earned less than $5000 due to practicum placements being non-remunerated cannot access the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
- Bank student loans are a major financial burden for students.
We were pleased to hear the federal government recently announced a new program
to provide financial support for post-secondary students and recent graduates. Elements of the program include:
- A proposed Canada Emergency Student Benefit, which would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. The benefit would be available from May to August 2020.
- The new Canada Student Service Grant for students who choose to do national service and serve their communities. It will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall.
HEAL and the EHPC will continue to follow-up for a response from the Canadian Banking Association, especially on student loans relief. Through the HEAL COVID-19 Task Force, DC continues to voice concerns from their members and the Task Force co-chairs meet regularly with the federal government. You can follow @CanadaHEAL on Twitter to stay up to date.
If you are a student, please reach out to your Regional Executive Director
with the challenges you are facing or if you have stories to share. You can also join the new Facebook group, Dietitians of Canada COVID-19 Response Group
DC is also advocating on a number of other issues affecting dietitians. You can read about them here.