Students Meet with Justin Trudeau to Discuss Unemployment

OTTAWA, Sept. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations met with Justin Trudeau, Member of Parliament for Papineau, to discuss the immediate needs for students suffering from alarmingly high unemployment rates.

In August 2009, there were 128,000 less jobs for students compared with August 2008. This means that post-secondary students are lacking over $500 million of income from summer employment.

"More students will be relying on financial assistance this fall in order to pursue a post-secondary education," said Arati Sharma, National Director of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA). "Drastic unemployment rates and as a result much higher need for financial assistance, is not something that the current system is prepared to support."

During the needs assessment for student loans, the current system for financial aid does not account for possible unemployment or under-employment; rather, the system deducts loan amounts based on the expectation that a student will make money throughout the summer. Further, if a student works throughout the school year, the government reduces a student's loan by every dollar earned above $50 per week. CASA is proposing that these employment restrictions be lifted for one year.

"These claw backs are increasing the burden for students who need financial assistance the most," said Sharma. "If removing these requirements is not immediate, students will be forced to take on more private debt, and for some, it will be a choice of whether or not to complete their education."

"Students are grateful for the opportunity to talk about these issues with Mr. Trudeau," said Sharma. "It is crucial for all our leaders to recognize the urgent need for changes to the post-secondary education system in Canada and we welcome any opportunity to discuss these concerns."

The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit national student organization composed of 24 student associations, representing 400,000 students from coast to coast.

SOURCE Canadian Alliance of Student Associations

For further information: For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact: Jillian Flake, Public Relations and Communications Officer, Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, Tel.: (613) 236-3457 ext. 224, (c) (613) 868-6605, Email:

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