Canadian students who are not even in the country since the beginning of the pandemic COVID-19 were able to touch a cheque in aid of the Trudeau government.
The controversial Delivery canadian emergency for students (PCUE) allows, in effect, for canadian students scattered to the four corners of the globe to receive support equivalent to that of their colleagues in the country, 1250$ per four-week period.
It is the only aid program launched by Ottawa in the context of the pandemic, which is available to Canadians outside of the country, according to an audit conducted by our Office of investigation.
To get the money, these young people must meet exactly the same conditions as those in Canada, that is to say, have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 – even if it is abroad or find a job without success.
This is the case of Florence, a Quebecer who has preferred to conceal his family name and who is finishing his masters in sociology at a French university. She looked forward to working again this summer at a caterer in paris, but the activities thereof have been suspended.
“I was really counting on this job,” she says in an interview from Paris.
With the PCUE, she can pull through this difficult time while remaining in France.
“We pay our taxes in Canada, so it seems logical that it is entitled to them”, she says.
Until now, Ottawa has distributed 1.36 billion $ in PCUE to nearly 600,000 students. However, it is impossible to know what portion of this amount went to foreign students, the Canada revenue Agency refused to respond to our question on this topic.
The conservative mp Alain Rayes is not surprised by this refusal.
“One of the things that we criticized the government [Trudeau] since the very beginning of this crisis, it is the lack of transparency of the different programs,” says Mr. Rayes, who is a lieutenant in the policy of his party in Quebec.
The member for Richmond-Arthabaska has questioned the control that will be able to exercise Ottawa on the income earned by students abroad.
“It is difficult to control,” he said. For us, the program is such as an open bar.”
Mr. Rayes reminds us that the whole programme of the PCUE has been the subject of many criticisms. He is accused of discouraging the return to work of young people.
Conformity, according to the ministry
In the office of the federal minister for Employment and Development of the workforce, Carla Qualtrough, it is explained that this eligibility to the PCUE is “consistent with all other policies of the financial aid for canadian students”.
Upon verification, the students of canadian and quebec have actually right to loans and scholarships if they are studying abroad.
Attached to Toulouse in France where she is studying, Allison, who has chosen to not reveal his family name, did not know until recently that she was entitled to the PCUE.
“I’m really relieved to have achieved it”, said the young woman from Quebec.
Mr. Rayes doesn’t throw the blame on these students.
“I don’t want to these young people. They are in the legality. […] But one may ask whether this money is well invested,” he concludes.
Delivery canadian emergency for the students in brief
- The canadian students, whether they are in the country or elsewhere in the world, can request.
- They must have lost their job or be unable to find a because of the COVID-19.
- They get 1250$ per four-week period, compared to$ 2000 for the PCU regularly.
- The federal government refuses to say how many canadian students abroad will benefit from it.
- These students must be in an establishment approved by Ottawa.
Source : Government of Canada